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Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) Densities in Coastal Scrub and Slash Pine Flatwoods in FloridaDensities of gopher tortoises were compared with habitat characteristics in scrub and in flatwood habitats on the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Tortoises were distributed widely among habitat types and did not have higher densities in well-drained (oak-palmetto) than in poorly-drained (saw palmetto) habitats. Fall densities of tortoises ranged from a mean of 2.7 individuals/ha in disturbed habitat to 0.0 individuals/ha in saw palmetto habitat. Spring densities of tortoises ranged from a mean of 2.5 individuals/ha in saw palmetto habitat to 0.7 individuals/ha in oak-palmetto habitat. Densities of tortoises were correlated positively with the percent herbaceous cover, an indicator of food resources. Plots were divided into three burn classes; these were areas burned within three years, burned four to seven years, and unburned for more than seven years prior to the study. Relationships between densities of tortoises and time-since-fire classes were inconsistent.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Kennedy Space Center
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Breininger, David R.
(Bionetics Corp. Cocoa Beach, FL United States)
Schmalzer, Paul A.
(Bionetics Corp. Cocoa Beach, FL United States)
Hinkle, C. Ross
(Bionetics Corp. Cocoa Beach, FL United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Herpetology
Publisher: Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Volume: 28
Issue: 1
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:204213
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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