Determinants of assemblage structure in Neotropical dry forest lizards
Article first published online: 12 JAN 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Ecological Society of Australia
Volume 34, Issue 1, pages 97–115, February 2009
How to Cite
De PINHO WERNECK, F., COLLI, G. R. and VITT, L. J. (2009), Determinants of assemblage structure in Neotropical dry forest lizards. Austral Ecology, 34: 97–115. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2008.01915.x
- Issue published online: 12 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 12 JAN 2009
- Accepted for publication February 2008.
- Canonical Phylogenetic Ordination;
- community ecology;
- phylogenetic constraint;
- Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest
We investigated the structure of a lizard assemblage from Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest enclaves in the Brazilian Cerrado biome, by testing the roles of ecological and historical components. We analysed data from 469 individuals, belonging to 18 lizard species, sampled by a combination of pitfall, funnel and glue traps, as well as by haphazard sampling. Null model analyses and Canonical Phylogenetic Ordination analysis, coupled with Monte Carlo simulations, revealed lack of both ecological and phylogenetic structure in microhabitat use. Conversely, these analyses revealed a mean overlap in diet composition significantly smaller than expected by chance and significant historical structure. Structure in diet composition was due to phylogenetic effects corresponding to the most basal divergence of the squamate phylogeny (Iguania/Scleroglossa) and the clades Teiidae and Gymnophthalmidae. Among lizards, evolutionary constraints on microhabitat use appear less than on prey use, suggesting that the availability of historically preferred prey types moderates microhabitat selection. The lack of structure in microhabitat use suggests absence of competitive interactions on the spatial component. On the other hand, food preferences have a deep historical basis and do not reflect current competitive interactions.