Study

Effects of grazing on lizard abundance and diversity in western Arizona

  • Published source details Jones K.B. (1981) Effects of grazing on lizard abundance and diversity in western Arizona. The Southwestern Naturalist, 26, 107-115.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Modify grazing regime: Forest, open woodland & savanna

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Modify grazing regime: Grassland & shrubland

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Modify grazing regime: Forest, open woodland & savanna

    A replicated, site comparison study in 1978–1979 in broadleaf forest in western Arizona, USA (Jones 1981) found overall lizard abundance but not diversity was higher under lighter compared to heavier grazing regimes. Lighter grazed plots had higher abundances of lizards compared to heavier grazing in cottonwood-willow (Light grazing: 1.1 individuals/trap group/night; heavy grazing: 0.6). Species diversity was statistically similar between lightly and heavily grazed sites across all vegetation sites (result presented as diversity index). See paper for details of individual species abundances. Seven lightly grazed and seven heavily grazed plots were established in areas of cottonwood-willow. Lightly grazed sites were characterised by a lack of livestock and good habitat condition. Heavily grazed sites were characterised by cattle trails, presence of livestock and poor habitat condition. Abundance and diversity (Shannon-Wiener Index) were estimated using drift fences with four pitfall traps in March–June and September–November 1978 and March–October 1979.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Modify grazing regime: Grassland & shrubland

    A replicated, site comparison study in 1978–1979 in grass and scrubland in western Arizona, USA (Jones 2018) found that overall lizard abundance but not diversity was higher under lighter grazing regimes in four of five vegetation types compared to heavier grazing. Lighter grazed plots had higher abundances of lizards compared to heavier grazing in chaparral (light: 1.7 individuals/trap group/night; heavy: 1.2), desert grassland (light: 0.8; heavy: 0.6), mixed riparian scrub (light: 1.2; heavy: 0.7) and cottonwood-willow (light: 1.1; heavy: 0.6). Relative abundances were similar in Sonoran desertscrub regardless of grazing regime (light: 1.0; heavy: 1.1). Species diversity was statistically similar between lightly and heavily grazed sites across all vegetation sites (reported as Shannon-Weaver diversity index). See paper for details of results for individual species. Seven lightly grazed and seven heavily grazed plots were established in five different vegetation communities: chaparral, desert grassland, mixed riparian scrub, riparian cottonwood-willow and Sonoran desertscrub (70 total plots). Lightly grazed sites were characterised by a lack of livestock and good habitat condition. Heavily grazed sites were characterised by existence of cattle trails, presence of livestock and poor habitat condition. Abundance and diversity were estimated using drift fences with four pitfall traps in March–June and September–November 1978 and March–October 1979.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

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