Fire-disturbed landscapes induce phenotypic plasticity in lizard locomotor performance

  • Published source details Wild K.H. & Gienger C.M. (2018) Fire-disturbed landscapes induce phenotypic plasticity in lizard locomotor performance. Journal of Zoology, 305, 96-105.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning: Forest, open woodland & savanna

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning: Forest, open woodland & savanna

    A site comparison study in 2014–2015 in mixed oak-hickory forest in Kentucky, USA (Wild & Gienger 2018) found that in prescribed burn forest eastern fence lizards Sceloporus undulatus ran faster than those in forests that had not been exposed to fire for four years or were unburned. Eastern fence lizards from forest burned less than six months previously ran faster (maximum sprint speed: 3.1 m/second; 2 m run speed: 2.2 m/second) than eastern fence lizards from forest burned four years previously (maximum sprint speed: 2.6 m/second; 2 m run speed: 1.7 m/second) or unburned forest (maximum sprint speed: 2.3 m/second; 2 m run speed: 1.6 m/second). In 2014, eighty lizards were captured, measured and speed tested. Similar size and weight lizards were captured from forest that had been prescribe burned less than six months earlier (26 lizards), or four years earlier (26 lizards), or not burned in the previous 60 years (28 lizards). Lizards were placed on a track and encouraged to run at maximum speed. Lizard top sprint speed and running speed over 2 m were measured using video technology (see original paper for details). Fourteen lizards were recaptured and retested in 2015.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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