2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Diversity, Abundance, Body Size, and Habitat Preference Variation in Snakes and Lizards Along a Latitudinal Cline
Andrew K. Gibson*, Allison R. Hanna, and Yannik E. Roell
Dr. Chad E. Montgomery and Dr. Michael I. Kelrick, Faculty Mentors

Decreased latitude is correlated with increased temperature and precipitation. Higher temperature and precipitation result in greater annual net primary productivity, which supports greater biodiversity and abundance. We compared diversity, abundance, body size, and habitat use of lizards and snakes in three desert ecosystems along a latitudinal cline in the southwest United States. We captured lizards and snakes opportunistically by hand or noose. Greatest diversity and abundance of lizards occurred at the site with the lowest average yearly precipitation, which may be related to habitat availability rather than climate. The greatest diversity and abundance of snakes occurred at the site with the greatest average yearly precipitation. There was no significant difference in body size among sites in either snakes or lizards. Whiptail Lizards and others chose bare ground and litter habitats for foraging while Collared Lizards and others preferred rocky habitat for cover. Ring-necked Snakes also preferred rocky habitat for cover.

Keywords: Body Size, Latitude, Lizard, Snake, Habitat, Diversity, Macroecology, Desert

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 4-3
Location: GEO - SUB
Time: 3:30

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