Publication: The effects of riparian restoration following saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) biocontrol on habitat and herpetofauna along a desert stream

Metadata Updated: November 12, 2020

Amphibians and reptiles (herpetofauna) have been linked to specific microhabitat characteristics, microclimates, and water resources in riparian forests. Our objective was to relate variation in herpetofauna abundance to changes in habitat caused by a beetle used for Tamarix biocontrol (Diorhabda carinulata; Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and riparian restoration. During 2013 and 2014, we measured vegetation and monitored herpetofauna via trapping and visual encounter surveys (VES) at locations affected by biocontrol along the Virgin River in the Mojave Desert of the southwestern United States. Twenty-one sites were divided into four riparian stand types based on density and percent cover of dominant trees (Tamarix, Prosopis, Populus, and Salix) and presence or absence of restoration. Restoration activities consisted of mechanically removing non-native trees, transplanting native trees, and restoring hydrologic flows. Restored sites had three times more total lizard and eight times more yellow-backed spiny lizard (Sceloporus uniformis) captures than other stand types. Woodhouse’s toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii) captures were greatest in unrestored and restored Tam-Pop/Sal sites. Results fromVES indicated that herpetofauna abundance was greatest in the restored Tam-Pop/Sal site compared with the adjacent unrestored Tam-Pop/Sal site. Tam sites were characterized by having high Tamarix cover, percent canopy cover, and shade. Restored Tam-Pop/Sal sites were most similar in habitat to Tam-Pop/Sal sites. Two species of herpetofauna (spiny lizard and toad) were found to prefer habitat components characteristic of restored Tam-Pop/Sal sites. Restored sites likely supported higher abundances of these species because restoration activities reduced canopy cover, increased native tree density, and restored surface water.

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License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Date November 27, 2018
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) 2017-09-12T22:10:30+00:00 (creation), 2017-09-12T22:18:45+00:00 (lastUpdate), March 1, 2013 (start), February 28, 2015 (end)
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Resource Type Publication
Metadata Date November 27, 2018
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) 2017-09-12T22:10:30+00:00 (creation), 2017-09-12T22:18:45+00:00 (lastUpdate), March 1, 2013 (start), February 28, 2015 (end)
Responsible Party Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Guid 59b85b56e4b08b1644df6045
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Bbox East Long -112.4704818725
Bbox North Lat 37.6258760516001
Bbox South Lat 36.5151258980001
Bbox West Long -114.4725922114
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Metadata Type geospatial
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True

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