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Land use and biodiversity patterns of the herpetofauna: The role of olive groves

AutorCarpio, Antonio J.; Oteros, José; Tortosa, Francisco S.; Guerrero-Casado, José
Palabras claveAmphibians
Ecological modelling
Land uses
Olive orchards
Fecha de publicaciónene-2016
CitaciónActa Oecologica 70: 103-111 (2016)
ResumenThe intensification of agriculture has significant environmental consequences. This intensification entails the simplification and homogenisation of the landscape, which leads to strong negative impacts at ecosystem level, including declines in animal biodiversity. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of different land uses on reptilian and amphibian biodiversity patterns at a regional scale by analysing a large database on the presence of amphibians and reptiles in Andalusia (southern Spain). GIS techniques and the Ecological-Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) were applied in order to assess whether the habitat was suitable for each reptilian and amphibian species, when the land use variables were excluded. The incongruence between the potential and the observed species richness was then correlated with the main types of land use in Andalusia. Our results showed that irrigated and unirrigated olive groves were associated with a biodiversity deficit of amphibians and reptiles respectively, whereas natural forests and pastures, along with more heterogeneous crops areas, were more suitable. A clustering analysis showed that generalist species were related to olive groves whereas rare and specialist species were related to land uses related to natural vegetation. In summary, our results indicate that large areas covered by olives groves harbour less amphibian and reptilian diversity, thus suggesting that agro-environmental schemes should be carried to promote the species richness in these crops.
Versión del editorhttp://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2015.12.007
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