The common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) is Ireland's only native reptile, forming a key part of the island's biodiversity. However, there is a general paucity of distributional and abundance data for the species. In this study, we collated incidental records for common lizard sightings to define the distribution of the species in Northern Ireland. Maximum entropy modelling was employed to describe species-habitat associations. The resulting predicted landscape favourability was used to evaluate the current status of the species based on the distribution of its maximum potential range in relation to the degree of fragmentation of remaining suitable habitat. In common with previous studies in the Republic of Ireland, sightings were highly clustered indicating under-recording, observer bias, and fragmentation of suitable habitat. A total of 98 records were collated from 1905 to 2009. The species was recorded in 63 (ca. 34%) of 186 × 10 km Northern Irish grid squares. Lizard occurrence was strongly and positively associated with landscapes dominated by heathland, bog and coastal habitats. The single best approximating model correctly classified the presence of lizards in 84.2% of cases. Upland heath, lowland raised bog and sand dune systems are all subject to Habitat Action Plans in Northern Ireland and are threatened by conversion to agriculture, afforestation, invasive species encroachment and infrastructural development. Consequently, remaining common lizard populations are likely to be small, isolated and highly fragmented. Establishment of an ecological network to preserve connectivity of remaining heath and bog will not only benefit remaining common lizard populations but biodiversity in general.

In: Amphibia-Reptilia

This paper describes the microscopic structure and morphology of stern and buttresses of swamp-grown Caryocar nuciferum L. and discusses the function of buttresses. Buttresses are mainly found at the opposite side of the leaning direction of a tree and thus could function as tension members. In contrast to the stern wood, which exhibits a moderate amount of tension wood fibres with a gelatinous layer, the wood of the buttresses on the tension side and the compression side of the leaning tree is characterised by thick-walled tension wood fibres. In addition, the number of vessels in the buttresses is substantially higher than that in the stern wood. The preferential direction of the buttresses and the anatomical differences in the various parts of the tree are discussed.

In: IAWA Journal