Article

Habitat structure and presence of Salamandra algira Bedriaga, 1883 in the Edough Peninsula, north-eastern Algeria

Published in: African Journal of Herpetology
Volume 66, issue 2, 2017 , pages: 154–168
DOI: 10.1080/21564574.2017.1388855
Author(s): Daniel EscorizaInstitut Català de la Salut, Spain, Jihène Ben HassineLaboratory Ecology, Biodiversity and Environment, Morocco

Abstract

This study examined the role of habitat characteristics on the presence of Salamandra algira in the Edough Peninsula, north-eastern Algeria. In this region, 33 sites were surveyed over the late winter and spring for a period of three years. Salamandra algira was present at 16 of these sites and absent from 17. These sites were characterized based on parameters related to their macroecology (climate, topography) and habitat structure (density, height, canopy closure and diversity of woody plants). Our analyses showed that mean temperature, topography, woody plant density and height and canopy cover contributed most to the explaining differences between sites where S. algira was present and where it was absent. Most of the sites occupied by S. algira were supra- and meso-Mediterranean forest thermotypes and were dominated by deciduous/evergreen oak trees (Quercus canariensis Willd. and Quercus suber L.). In contrast, the presence of S. algira in thermo-Mediterranean forest was only confirmed in one location. This suggests that the transition between the thermophilic facies of the cork oak forest and the thermo-Mediterranean formations possibly determines the lower limits of S. algira in the region of Edough.

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