Understanding species-habitat relationships is important for conservation efforts of species vulnerable to habitat loss such as turtles. From May-September 2006, we conducted a radio-telemetry study to determine differences in macro- and micro-habitat use, niche breadth, and niche overlap of 50 turtles representing rare (Emydoidea blandingii, Clemmys guttata) and common species (Chrysemys picta, Chelydra serpentina, Sternotherus odoratus). Both levels of habitat analysis showed strong partitioning between C. guttata and the common species as well as marked overlap in habitat use for E. blandingiiand C. serpentina. Use of mesic prairie, sedge meadow, river, and pond macro-habitats differed between rare and common species. Only micro-habitat use differed within the rare and common species groups, suggesting that coarse macro-habitat classification obscured subtle variation in habitat use. Patterns of macro- and micro-habitat use and measures of niche breadth and niche overlap suggest that E. blandingiiand C. serpentina are habitat generalists whereas C. guttata is a habitat specialist. Our findings suggest that C. guttata is most vulnerable to habitat degradation and that broad variation in water and vegetation micro-habitat characteristics is necessary to support a diverse freshwater turtle community.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||2013 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 10-15 July, 2013 Albuquerque, New Mexico|
|State||Published - 2013|