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Data for: Determinants of resource use in lizard assemblages from the Neotropical semiarid Caatinga

Cite this dataset

Gonçalves-Sousa, José Guilherme; Cavalcante, Leonides Azevedo; Mesquita, Daniel Oliveira; Ávila, Robson Waldemar (2022). Data for: Determinants of resource use in lizard assemblages from the Neotropical semiarid Caatinga [Dataset]. Dryad.


Non-sessile animals could partition the use of resources in different axes, reducing the effects of competition and allowing coexistence. Here, we investigated the spatial and trophic niche dimensions in four lizard assemblages in the Neotropical semiarid Caatinga to investigate the determinants of resource use and the extent which lizards partition their niches. We sampled each lizard assemblage once, for ten days, in the dry season of 2017 and 2018. In two lizard assemblages, we detected non-random niche overlap patterns that were higher or lower than expected by chance. The high niche overlap patterns suggests that either there is intense current competition for available microhabitats or an abundance of microhabitats. The lower niche overlap may be influenced by the presence of species adapted to sandy habitats (psamophilous), suggesting that spatial partitioning detected has historical basis, which is supported by the pPCA results and by the lack of patterns in the realized niche distribution of species across niche space. We detected trophic niche partitioning in three lizard assemblages. In one assemblage, we discovered random spatial and trophic niche overlap patterns, revealing that competition is not a determining factor in the structure of that assemblage. In fact, phylogenetic effects were predominantly the main determinants of resource use in the four studied lizard assemblages. Arid and semiarid habitats cover about one third of land surface of the world. Comparisons between our findings and those from other regions of the world may aid identify general trends in the lizard ecology of dry environments.


Coordenação de Aperfeicoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Award: 1595363