Comparative analysis of spatial organization of desert lizard communities in Middle Asia and Mexico

G. I. Shenbrot, K. A. Rogovin, A. V. Surov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Analyzes the spatial organization of two lizard communities from the Turan (Bukhara) and Chihuahua (Mapimi) deserts by the use of canonical (discriminant function) analysis; 23 variables of the environment (soil structure, vegetation) were considered. Number of species in both communities are similar (13 in Bukhara, 14 in Mapimi), but mean densities of most populations in Mapimi are four times lower than in Bukhara. Half of Mapimi's species are rare (1-4 ind ha-1) and maximum densities are 18-27 ind ha-1. Mean densities of most Bukhara species are at the level of 20-40 ind ha-1 and densities of most abundant species are 80-120 ind ha-1. Despite these differences the lizard community biomasses in both localities are similar. The ecological niches of lizards in both communities distribute along two main ecological axes. The 1st axis represents the gradient of soil structure from sand to clay; the 2nd axis represents the gradient of protective conditions (percent of vegetation cover, number of rodent burrows). In the Mapimi community the distribution of niches is even, whereas there are two distinct spatial guilds in Bukhara consisting of psammophilous and sclerophilous species. Niche overlap is lower in Mapimi. There is a negative correlation between the niche breadth and the distance from the center of the resource space. There are no correlations between species abundance, niche breadth and niche position in the resource space. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-168
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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