During 2009 and 2010, we observed common side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) in two types of vegetation along the Virgin River in Nevada and Arizona: monotypic stands of nonnative saltcedars (Tamarix) and mixed stands of cottonwoods (Populus fremontii), willows (Salix gooddingii), mesquites (Prosopis), and saltcedar trees. Using mark-recapture techniques, parameters were recorded from 233 individual lizards. We detected no significant difference in parameters between monotypic stands of nonnative saltcedars and mixed vegetation. However, lizards selected habitats having a more open vegetative structure and parameters were correlated negatively with canopy cover. Greatest canopy cover occurred in sites having >65% stem counts for saltcedar trees. Our results suggest that common side-blotched lizards use habitats with similar structural characteristics in both mixed and nonnative vegetation, and that they avoid sites with dense canopy cover as in the densest stands of saltcedars.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics