Morfološke, fiziološke i populacione odlike perifernih populacija šumskog guštera (Darevskia praticola) u Srbiji
Morphological, physiological and population traits of the peripheral populations of the meadow lizard (Darevskia praticola) in Serbia
Committee membersCvetković, Dragana
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The meadow lizard (Darevskia praticola) is a small lacertid species that usually lives in shaded and moist, forest habitats. The western limit of its distribution range with peripheral populations is located in the territory of Serbia. Since peripheral populations can in many aspects be significantly different from central populations the subject of this dissertation was to: recognize the environmental parameters that limit the expansion of the species range, analyse populations’ traits and habitats, compare the levels of environmental stress in central and peripheral populations by analysing the levels of fluctuating asymmetry (FA) and condition indices of mass, as well as to examine the ecophysiological traits of the species. Ecological niche modelling indicated two significant factors that limit the distribution of the meadow lizard – narrow climate tolerance and deforestation. Analysis of central and peripheral populations showed that they did not differ in density, that they had a... similar proportion of adults and a similar sex ratio. Females were larger than males, while the body size was not correlated with altitude and latitude and it did not differ between the two types of populations. Condition indices were lower in males from central populations and from populations with a larger number of predatory reptile species. However, no differences in FA levels were observed between central and peripheral populations. It has been experimentally demonstrated that the meadow lizard had developed mechanisms for conserving water in the body and that its range of selected temperatures was lower than in most lacertid lizards. The conclusion is that the activity and distribution of the meadow lizard are likely limited by the thermal requirements of the species, and that its observed association with humid habitats is likely a result of the selection of habitats that match its preferred temperatures.