Effects of a High Intensity Fire on the Abundance and Diversity of Reptiles in the Eastern Rhodopes Mountains, Southeastern Bulgaria

Georgi S. Popgeorgiev, Yurii V. Kornilev
2009 Ecologia Balkanica  
The numerous fires during the past decade in the Eastern Rhodopes (southeastern Bulgaria) resulted in extensive loss of habitat for multiple species. In this study on the reptilian fauna found near Kolets village (Haskovo District, Bulgaria) we compared two adjacent territories during 2004–2006, a control and a recently burned. We found no effect on the Shannon-Wiener index of biological diversity (mean for the three years: Hburned = 0.488, Hcontrol = 0.498). However, fire led to decrease of
more » ... d to decrease of abundance (Ab, individuals / 1000 m), best detected for the following species: Testudo hermanni (Abburned = 1.8, Abcontrol = 5.6; p = 0.003316), T. graeca (Abburned = 1.1, Abcontrol = 3.2; p = 0.071786), Lacerta viridis (Abburned = 16.8, Abcontrol = 40.6; p = 0.000263), and L. trilineata (Abburned = 6.8, Abcontrol = 19.2; p = 0.000879), where values for Ab are combined for 2004–2006.
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