Microhabitat use by the sand dune lizard Liolaemus multimaculatus in a pampean coastal area in Argentina

  • Kacoliris F
  • Celsi C
  • Monserrat A
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The sand dune lizard (Liolaemus multimaculatus) is a vulnerable species, endemic to the Pampean coasts in Argentina, yet no studies exist on its preferences for microhabitats. This work has three primary goals: 1) to assess preferences in microhabitat use in relation to their availability; 2) to evaluate differences in male, female and juvenile microhabitat use; and 3) to describe the microhabitat structure required and preferred by lizards. The study was carried out at Mar Chiquita Provincial Nature Reserve, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. We assessed microhabitat selection and evaluated differences in microhabitat use between individual categories, by applying null models. Magnitude of selection was evaluated using Jacobs’ index of selectivity. Spatial niche width and overlap were calculated using Hurlbert’s measurement and Pianka’s index respectively. Results showed that the sand dune lizard did not use microhabitats according to their availability, but rather that it prefers microhabitats with low to medium vegetation cover, and tends to avoid those with high or no vegetation cover. No differences between individual categories were found. Preferred microhabitats allow sand burying and rapid movements and offer refuges from predators. This study allows us to identify suitable microhabitats for this species, thus contributing to the development of conservation plans.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Age differences
  • Habitat selection
  • Liolaemidae
  • Sex differences

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  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-70350153029
  • ISSN: 02680130
  • SGR: 70350153029
  • PUI: 355461031


  • Federico Pablo Kacoliris

  • Cintia Eleonora Celsi

  • Ana Laura Monserrat

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