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Size Distributions and Sex Ratios of Colonizing Lizards

Robert T. M'Closkey, Stephen J. Hecnar, David R. Chalcraft and Jill E. Cotter
Oecologia
Vol. 116, No. 4 (1998), pp. 501-509
Published by: Springer in cooperation with International Association for Ecology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4222115
Page Count: 9
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Size Distributions and Sex Ratios of Colonizing Lizards
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Abstract

This paper reports the body size distributions and sex ratios of four species of phyrnosomatid lizard that colonized experimentally created density sinks. The experiments were conducted in western Colorado in 1992, and lizards colonizing the habitats in 1993 were compared to those removed in 1992 and those present in 1991. Lizards colonizing the density sinks were able to disperse from adjacent habitat. For two of the species (Urosaurus ornatus and Sceloporus undulatus), colonizing lizards were significantly smaller than either those removed in 1992 or those present in 1991. Two other species (S. graciosus and Uta stansburiana) showed no difference in the size distribution of colonizing and removed lizards. In addition, sex ratios of colonizing lizards did not differ from those removed in 1992 or present in 1991. The results of the experiments have implications for the dynamics of the target populations, rescue of local populations from extinction, the regional persistence of populations subject to turnover in patchy environments, and priority effects in colonization.

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