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Revista chilena de historia natural

versión impresa ISSN 0716-078X


URIBE, Sandra V  y  ESTADES, Cristián F. Reptiles in Monterey pine plantations of the Coastal Range of Central Chile. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2014, vol.87, pp.1-8. ISSN 0716-078X.

BACKGROUND: In Chile, most of the timber industry depends on Monterey pine (Pinus radíala (D. Don.)) plantations, which now cover more than 1.5 million ha. In spite of the intensive management of these plantations, they are home to a large number of wildlife species. One of the least known groups in this type of environment are reptiles. For this reason, we conducted a study on the distribution and abundance of reptiles at plantations of different ages in seven sites in the Coastal Range of Central Chile. RESULTS: From seven species that could be potentially found in the study region, a total of five species were recorded, with Liolaemus lemniscatus (Gravenhorst) being the most abundant (with up to 160 ind*ha-1). Detectability of species was similar in young and mature plantations but Liolaemus tenuis (Duméril and Bibron), the most colorful species, showed a higher detection probability than the other species. The highest abundance of reptiles was found in young plantations, and the density of L. lemniscatus and Liolaemus chiliensis (Lesson) declined significantly with plantation development. Liolaemus schroederi (Müller and Hellmich) increased significantly its numbers in 4- to 5-year-old plantations and remained with similar densities in mature plantations. L. tenuis density was low in all plantations and showed no relationship with age. The snake Philodryas chamissonis (Wiegmann) was recorded very few times and only in young plantations. Vegetation characteristics explained a significant proportion of the variation in the abundance of reptiles, with dense understories negatively affecting the abundance of lizards, likely by reducing the amount of heat and sunlight reaching the plantation's interior. The type of microhabitats with the highest number of lizard records was scrub and harvest debris. CONCLUSIONS: This work confirms the role of pine plantations as habitat for an important proportion of reptile species in South Central Chile and provides some relationships with management variables that can be used to enhance the contribution of these artificial forests to biodiversity conservation.

Palabras clave : Abundance; Detectability; Habitat use; Understory; Plantation; Lizard.

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