Contrasts in short- and long-term responses of Mediterranean reptile species to fire and habitat structure

Xavier Santos , Arnaud Badiane, Cátia Matos. Oecologia, September 2015. We found contrasting responses among reptiles in terms of time since fire and those responses differed according to vegetation variables and habitat types. An unplanned fire in August 2012 provided the opportunity to compare reptile abundance values between pre-fire and the short term (1–2 years) after the fire. Most species exhibited a negative short-term response to the 2012 fire except Tarentola mauritanica, a gecko that inhabits large rocks, as opposed to other ground-dwelling species. In the reptiles studied, contrasting responses to time since fire are consistent with the habitat–accommodation model of succession. These differences are linked to specific microhabitat preferences and suggest that functional traits can be used to predict species-specific responses to fire. Leer más.