Study

A structurally enriched agricultural landscape maintains high reptile diversity in sub-arid south-western Madagascar

  • Published source details Nopper J., Lauströer B., Rödel M.O. & Ganzhorn J.U. (2017) A structurally enriched agricultural landscape maintains high reptile diversity in sub-arid south-western Madagascar. Journal of Applied Ecology, 54, 480-488.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide or maintain hedgerows on farmland

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Retain connectivity between habitat patches

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Provide or maintain hedgerows on farmland

    A site comparison study in 2012 in two sites of tropical dry forest and farmland in south-western Madagascar (Nopper et al. 2017) found that a site with hedges throughout different habitats had smaller differences in reptile communities than those without hedges, and that cultivated areas with hedges had more species than cultivated areas without hedges. The similarity of reptile communities in cultivated areas, undegraded forest and degraded forest was higher in the site with hedges than in the site without hedges (result reported as a dissimilarity index). Nine species were found in cultivated areas with hedges (1–19 individuals) that were not found in cultivated areas with no hedges, whereas the opposite was true for only two species (1–3 individuals). Two sites were selected that contained undegraded forest, degraded forest and cultivated areas. In one site, hedges (2 m high, containing non-native Opuntia spp. and native vegetation e.g. Euphorbia stenoclada) surrounded cultivated areas and bordered degraded forest. The other site had no hedges. Eight 100 m transects were established in each habitat, and all reptile species were recorded within 1.5 m of the transect line (10 surveys in February–April 2012). In cultivated areas transects followed field boundaries with or without hedging.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

  2. Retain connectivity between habitat patches

    A site comparison study in 2012 in two sites of tropical dry forest in south-western Madagascar (Nopper et al. 2017) found that a site with hedges connecting different habitats had smaller differences in reptile communities than those without hedges, and that cultivated areas with hedges had more species than cultivated areas without hedges. The similarity of reptile communities in undegraded forest, degraded forest and cultivated areas was higher in the site with hedges than in the site without hedges (result reported as dissimilarity index). Nine species were found in cultivated areas with hedges (1–19 individuals) that were not found in cultivated areas with no hedges, whereas the opposite was true for only two species (1–3 individuals). Two sites were selected that contained undegraded forest, degraded forest and cultivated areas. In one site, hedges (2 m high, containing non-native Opuntia spp. and native vegetation) surrounded cultivated areas and bordered degraded forest. The other site had no hedges. Eight 100 m transects were established in each habitat, and all reptile species were recorded within 1.5 m of the transect line (10 surveys in February–April 2012). In cultivated areas transects followed field boundaries (hedges vs no hedges).

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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