Importance of rivers in shaping original Euro-Mediterranean lizard habitatsReport as inadecuate

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Natura Croatica, Vol.8 No.3 September 1999. -

In pristine conditions, Mediterranean Europe was covered by dense forests during all Pleistocene and in more recent warm periods. Combined with its rather northern position this means that at that time, apart from in coastal environments, lizard habitats would have been present only where open places were formed by the action of storms, natural fires and the erosive forces of rivers. The latter will have been the most reliable and also the most important force, especially combined with the influence of large grazing and browsing animals. Variations in habitat quality in the resulting open spaces are determined by longitudinal gradients in temperature, humidity, steepness and trophic conditions. Present day ecological differentiation and some special characteristics of the lizards will be discussed in the light of these hypotheses.

lacertids; pristine habitats; rivers; erosion

Author: Henk Strijbosch - ; Department of Environmental Studies, University of Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9010, NL–6500 GL Nijmegen, The Nether



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