Microhabitat use within a contact zone of parapatric land salamanders in the Swiss Alps

in Amphibia-Reptilia
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Studies investigating the contact zones in parapatric species can provide valuable insights into the mechanisms that cause range borders. Such studies can also provide a better understanding of the mechanisms which allow coexistence within contact zones. In land salamanders, parapatric range limits among species are often determined by abiotic factors and interspecific competition. The ranges of the parapatric Salamandra salamandra and S. atra narrowly overlap in the European Alps. Climatic gradients that determine their parapatric range margins suggest dissimilar species-habitat-relationships. However, habitat use for these species has not yet been studied in the contact zone where the parapatric ranges overlap and where the species locally co-occur in syntopy. To better understand their parapatric range limits and local syntopy, we compared the species’ microhabitat use in a contact zone in Switzerland and quantified the degree of interspecific niche overlap in relation to resource availability. We observed that most studied microhabitat variables were neither selected nor avoided by the two species, suggesting random use of the habitat for the variables that we studied. Interspecific niche overlap was generally large, but did not differ from that expected by chance. Unlike previous studies that analyzed patterns of co-occurrence of these species at larger spatial scales, we observed no niche differentiation within the contact zone. Both species likely select the same areas that are suitable and available for salamanders while they similarly avoid generally unsuitable habitat. This indicates that niche differentiation can vary depending on the spatial scale where it is investigated.

Microhabitat use within a contact zone of parapatric land salamanders in the Swiss Alps

in Amphibia-Reptilia

Sections

References

  • AmarasekareP. (2003): Competitive coexistence in spatially structured environments: a synthesis. Ecol. Lett. 6: 1109-1122.

  • ArifS.AdamsD.C.WicknickJ.A. (2007): Bioclimatic modelling, morphology, and behaviour reveal alternative mechanisms regulating the distributions of two parapatric salamander species. Evol. Ecol. Res. 9: 843-854.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BlandJ.M.AltmanD.G. (1995): Multiple significance tests: the Bonferroni method. Brit. Med. J. 310: 170.

  • BridleJ.R.VinesT.H. (2007): Limits to evolution at range margins: when and why does adaptation fail? Trends Ecol. Evol. 22: 140-147.

  • BullC.M. (1991): Ecology of parapatric distributions. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Evol. System. 22: 19-36.

  • CimmarutaR.FortiG.NascettiG.BulliniL. (1999): Spatial distribution and competition in two parapatric sibling species of European plethodontid salamanders. Ethol. Ecol. Evol. 11: 383-398.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CunninghamH.R.RisslerL.J.ApodacaJ.J. (2009): Competition at the range boundary in the slimy salamander: using reciprocal transplants for studies on the role of biotic interactions in spatial distributions. J. Anim. Ecol. 78: 52-62.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FeinsingerP.SpearsE.E.PooleR.W. (1981): A simple measure of niche breadth. Ecology 62: 27-32.

  • García-RamosG.Sánchez-GarduñoF.MainiP.K. (2000): Dispersal can sharpen parapatric boundaries on a spatially varying environment. Ecology 81: 749-760.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GastonK.J. (2003): The Structure and Dynamics of Geographic Ranges. Oxford University PressOxford.

  • GotelliN.J.EllisonA.M. (2013): EcoSimR. Version 1.0. http://www.uvm.edu/~ngotelli/EcoSim/EcoSim.html.

  • GuexG.-D.GrossenbacherK. (2004): Salamandra atra. In: Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien EuropasBand 4/IIB p.  975-1028. ThiesmeierB.GrossenbacherK. Eds Aula VerlagWiebelsheim.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HairstonN.G. (1949): The local distribution and ecology of the plethodontid salamanders of the southern Appalachians. Ecol. Monogr. 19: 47-73.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HairstonN.G. (1951): Interspecies competition and its probable influence upon the vertical distribution of Appalachian salamanders of the genus Plethodon. Ecology 32: 266-274.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HairstonN.G.NishikawaK.C.StenhouseS.L. (1987): The evolution of competing species of terrestrial salamanders: niche partitioning or interference? Evol. Ecol. 1: 247-262.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HijmansR.L.GuarinoL.MathurC. (2012): DIVA-GIS version 7.5. Manual International Potato Center Lima.

  • IvlevV.S. (1961): Experimental Ecology of the Feeding of Fishes. Yale University PressNew Haven.

  • JaegerR.G. (1971): Competitive exclusion as a factor influencing the distributions of two species of terrestrial salamanders. Ecology 52: 632-637.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KeenW.H. (1982): Habitat selection and interspecific competition in two species of plethodontid salamanders. Ecology 63: 94-102.

  • KirkpatrickM.BartonN.H. (1997): Evolution of a species’ range. Am. Nat. 150: 1-23.

  • KlewenR. (1986): Untersuchungen zur Verbreitung Öko-Ethologie und innerartlichen Gliederung von Salamandra atra Laurenti 1768. Ph.D. Dissertation University of Cologne Germany.

  • KrzysikA.J. (1979): Resource allocation, co-existence, and the niche structure of a streambank salamander community. Ecol. Monogr. 49: 173-194.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • R Development Core Team (2013): R: a Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical ComputingVienna. www.r-project.org.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RobertsD.W.CooperS.V. (1989): Concepts and techniques of vegetation mapping. In: Proceedings – Land Classifications Based on Vegetation: Applications for Resource Management p. 90-96. Ferguson D.E. Morgan P. Johnson F.D. Eds U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service General Technical Report INT-257 Ogden.

  • RödderD.EnglerJ.O. (2011): Quantitative metrics of overlaps in Grinnellian niches: advances and possible drawbacks. Global Ecol. Biogeogr. 20: 915-927.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SchmidtB.R.ItinE.SchaubM. (2014): Seasonal and annual survival of the salamander Salamandra salamandra salamandra. J. Herpetol. 48: 20-23.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SchoenerT.W. (1974): Resource partitioning in ecological communities. Science 185: 27-39.

  • StraussR.E. (1979): Reliability estimates of Ivlev’s electivity index, the forage ratio, and a proposed linear index of food selection. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 108: 344-352.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SutherlandW.J.FreckletonR.P.GodfrayH.C.J.BeissingerS.R.BentonT.CameronD.D.CarmelY.CoomesD.A.CoulsonT.EmmersonM.C.HailsR.S.HaysG.C.HodgsonD.J.HutchingsM.J.JohnsonD.JonesJ.P.G.KeelingM.J.KokkoH.KuninW.E.LambinX.LewisO.T.MalhiY.MieszkowskaN.Milner-GullandE.J.NorrisK.PhillimoreA.B.PurvesD.W.ReidJ.M.ReumanD.C.ThompsonK.TravisJ.M.J.TurnbullL.A.WardleD.A.WiegandT. (2013): Identification of 100 fundamental ecological questions. J. Ecol. 101: 58-67.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ThiesmeierB.GrossenbacherK. (2004): Salamandra salamandra. In: Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien EuropasBand 4/IIB p.  1059-1132. ThiesmeierB.GrossenbacherK. Eds Aula VerlagWiebelsheim.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ToftC.A. (1985): Resource partitioning in amphibians and reptiles. Copeia 1985: 1-21.

  • TownendJ. (2002): Practical Statistics for Environmental and Biological Sciences. John Wiley & Sons LtdChichester.

  • VoneshJ.R.MitchellJ.C.HowellK.CrawfordA.J. (2010): Rapid assessments of amphibian diversity. In: Amphibian Ecology and Conservation – a Handbook of Techniques p.  263-280. DoddC.K. Ed. Oxford University PressOxford.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WernerP.LöttersS.SchmidtB.R.EnglerJ.O.RödderD. (2013): The role of climate for the range limits of parapatric European land salamanders. Ecography 36: 1127-2237.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WernerP.LöttersS.SchmidtB.R. (2014a): Analysis of habitat determinants in contact zones of parapatric European salamanders. J. Zool. 292: 31-38.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WernerP.LöttersS.SchmidtB.R. (2014b): Absence of variation in body size of the alpine salamander between allotopic and syntopic populations in a contact zone with the fire salamander. Amphibia-Reptilia 35: 361-365.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WinemillerK.O.PiankaE.R. (1990): Organization in natural assemblages of desert lizards and tropical fishes. Ecol. Monogr. 60: 27-55.

  • ZimmermannN.E.KienastF. (1999): Predictive mapping of alpine grasslands in Switzerland: species versus community approach. J. Veg. Sci. 10: 469-482.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Figures

  • View in gallery

    Microhabitat use by Salamandra salamandra (light grey) and S. atra (dark grey) calculated through the Ivlev’s electivity index (following Strauss, 1979). Positive values indicate active selection of variable levels, the zero line indicates random selection from the environment and negative values indicate avoidance. * indicates significant values (confidence intervals do not include zero).

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 46 37 1
Full Text Views 193 193 0
PDF Downloads 10 10 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0