Effects of habitat alteration on lizard community and food web structure in a desert steppe ecosystem

  • Published source details Zeng Z., Bi J., Li S., Chen S., Pike D.A., Gao Y. & Du W. (2014) Effects of habitat alteration on lizard community and food web structure in a desert steppe ecosystem. Biological Conservation, 179, 86-92.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create or restore grasslands

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Create or restore grasslands

    A replicated, controlled study in 2012 in sandy steppe grassland in Inner Mongolia, China (Zeng et al. 2014) found that restored grassland with dense vegetation had similar lizard species richness but greater abundance than degraded sparse grassland or natural grassland. Lizard species richness was similar but abundance was greater in restored grassland (richness: 3 species/plot, abundance: 58 individuals/plot) compared to degraded sparse, cash-crop dominated grassland (richness: 3, abundance: 42) and natural grassland (richness: 3, abundance: 28). Lizards were surveyed in 10 plots in each of three types of grassland: grassland restored to combat desertification and dominated by sweet vetch Hedysarum spp., korshinsk peashrub Caragana korshinskii and erect milkvetch Astrogalus adsurgens; degraded sparse grassland dominated by cash crops such as herba ephedra Ephedra sinica and alfalfa Medicago sativa, or natural (undisturbed) grassland. Lizards were surveyed using drift fences with pitfall traps (eight traps/plot) over seven consecutive days in June, July and September 2012 (21 trap days/plot). Lizards were individually marked by toe clipping prior to release.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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