Temporal and spatial resource partitioning in a Chihuahuan Desert lizard community

TitleTemporal and spatial resource partitioning in a Chihuahuan Desert lizard community
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication1982
AuthorsF. Creusere M, Whitford WG
Series EditorScott, Jr. N.J
Date Published1982
InstitutionU. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
ISBN NumberWildlife Research Report 13
Accession NumberJRN00002
Call Number00040
Keywordsbook, books, chapter, chapters, Larrea community,lizard activity, lizard, Cnemidophorus, lizard, Crotaphytus, lizard, Holbrookia, lizard, Phrynosoma, lizard, Sceloporus, lizard, Uta, lizard,activity patterns, report, reports

Actvity patterns of the lizards in a Chihuahuan Desert creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) community were studied by walking fixed transects on a marked grid and recording activity of individual lizards. We found considerable spatial overlap in Cnemidophorus tigris and Holbrookia texana; however, individuals that overlapped spatially were active at different times. We distinguished five distinct activity patterns in C. tigris and H. texana, whereas Uta stansburiana, Sceloporus magister, Phrynosoma modestum, P. cornutum, and Crotaphytus wislizenii were bimodal. Individual activity patterns varied; some were active only in the morning, only in midday, only in the afternoon, morning and afternoon, or all day. Most lizards were active less than 25% of the days of observations. Exceptions were a few large male H. texana that were active between 40% and 70% of the days. We suggest that temporal separation of activity reduces intraspecific competition and increases carrying capacity in species for which food is probably not a limiting resource.

Alternate TitleHerpetological Communities: A Symposium of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles and the Herpetologists' League