The effects of disturbance, including prescribed fire, vary among species and their ability to adjust to the altered environment. Our objective was to link fire-caused habitat changes with shifts in habitat use and behavioral changes in the Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus). We compared habitat availability between burned (experimental) and unburned (control) plots and used radio telemetry to evaluate snake behavior and habitat use. The numerical abundance of C. constrictor in burned habitat was nearly twice that in the control. In both treatments, C. constrictor was associated with areas that were more open, had less canopy cover, more new vegetative growth, and less, shallower leaf litter. However, the availability of these habitats was greater in the burn treatment. Snakes were more surface active in the burn treatment and tended to be more arboreal in the control treatment. Differences in available habitat may have caused an increase in surface activity in the burn treatment, which could have biased detection rates and created higher apparent abundance in the burned treatment. Females moved more often in the control treatment, which may be due to a lack of preferred thermal habitat and reproductive thermoregulatory demands. Ultimately, fire changed habitat availability and altered the movement rates and behavior of C. constrictor causing ecological effects that may not be detected when researchers only compare abundance.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 104 • No. 4