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**
* Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, Plovdiv Regional Office, 27A P. Todorov Str., P.O. Box 562, 4000 Plovdiv, BULGARIA
E-mail: georgi.popgeorgiev@gmail.com
** Bulgarian Herpetological Society, 2 Gagarin Str., 1113 Sofia, BULGARIA
E-mail: yukornilev@gmail.com
Abstract. 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 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
Key words: herpetofauna, fire, abundance, Bulgaria.

Ecologia Balkanica, 2009, vol. 1, pp. 41-50.
Article № EB-01-2009_RA_07, ICID: 
905612, [Full text - PDF]pdf 

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