Reptilian Activity, Movements and Spatial Ecology within the Oak Openings Region

Understanding how organisms interact with their environment is critical for conservation ecology. Reptiles are especially vulnerable to the synergistic effects of changes within their environment. Mixed disturbance landscapes, such as Oak Openings Region in northwestern Ohio, provide an opportunity to examine varying responses to heterogeneity. In particular, movement patterns can be explored using a variety of techniques from field surveys to computer modeling.

For this study, our goal was to examine reptilian movement patterns across multiple spatial and temporal scales to facilitate conservation efforts. Landscape characteristics, in terms of composition and configuration, were examined, along with the effects of climate change, habitat suitability, and fine-scale movements patterns. Overall, this research contributed to the growing knowledge of spatial ecology, especially expanding multi-species responses.

Photo by Anthony Kappler  

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Photo by A. Martin 

Photosby A. Martin 

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Use of fluorescent powder to track reptilian movement patterns. Trails are illuminated at night.

Environmental layers for local scale habitat suitability models.

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Multi-scaled habitat selection based on home range size.

Multi-scaled habitat selection based on home range size.

Snake
 Amanda K. Martin, PhD in Biological Sciences