Effects of suburban development on lizard and snake assemblies in central Texas.
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Access changed 8/26/15.
Kuhlman, Stefan G.
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A common threat to biological communities is habitat degradation, particularly in urban areas. Snakes and lizards (squamates) play significant roles in many ecosystems and may be limited by a variety of thermal conditions, habitat structures, and predator/prey abundance, which can all be altered by increased urbanization. The goal of this study is to compare variation in abundance, morphology, and habitat-use among various squamate species and locations with varying degrees of urbanization. I will use a multivariate regression and quantile regression to analyze morphology data, canonical correspondence analysis to establish relationships between species abundance and environmental variables, and a dissimilarity matrix and cluster analysis to compare study sites. I will demonstrate that morphology is significantly affected by degree of urbanization, show relationships between species abundance, ground cover, soil composition, and several vegetation measures, and establish several meaningful relationships between study sites.