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effects of reduction mowing on gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus)

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Date Issued:
2007
Summary:
The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is endemic to the Southeast United States, where its populations are declining primarily due to habitat loss. Gopher tortoises prefer habitats with open sunny spots for nesting and basking. Fire is a normal element in gopher tortoise habitat, and when natural fires are suppressed, habitats may become too overgrown. To maintain the open spaces, some land managers use reduction mowing of vegetation. I studied gopher tortoises in the Abacoa Greenway reserve, established to protect the tortoises in a residential area of Jupiter, Florida, and I examined how reduction mowing influences tortoise activity. I evaluated the distribution of burrows throughout the study site by flagging the burrows both before and after extensive reduction mowing took place in the greenway. Statistical comparison between new burrows found within the interior as compared to the periphery both before and after the mowing reveal a significant relationship between both variables. These results suggest that the tortoises utilize newly mowed areas as preferred substrate for new burrows.
Title: The effects of reduction mowing on gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus).
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Name(s): Del Signore, Vincent.
Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Thesis
Issuance: multipart monograph
Date Issued: 2007
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
electronic resource
Extent: v, 24 leaves : ill. (some col.).
Language(s): English
Summary: The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is endemic to the Southeast United States, where its populations are declining primarily due to habitat loss. Gopher tortoises prefer habitats with open sunny spots for nesting and basking. Fire is a normal element in gopher tortoise habitat, and when natural fires are suppressed, habitats may become too overgrown. To maintain the open spaces, some land managers use reduction mowing of vegetation. I studied gopher tortoises in the Abacoa Greenway reserve, established to protect the tortoises in a residential area of Jupiter, Florida, and I examined how reduction mowing influences tortoise activity. I evaluated the distribution of burrows throughout the study site by flagging the burrows both before and after extensive reduction mowing took place in the greenway. Statistical comparison between new burrows found within the interior as compared to the periphery both before and after the mowing reveal a significant relationship between both variables. These results suggest that the tortoises utilize newly mowed areas as preferred substrate for new burrows.
Identifier: 309783979 (oclc), 40270 (digitool), FADT40270 (IID), fau:1461 (fedora)
Note(s): by Vincent Del Signore.
Thesis (B.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, Honors College, 2007.
Bibliography: leaf 24.
Preliminary numbering begins with title page.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2007. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Gopher tortoise -- Ecology -- Florida
Greenways -- Florida -- Jupiter -- Abacoa
Niche (Ecology)
Adaptation (Biology)
Environmental impact analysis -- Florida
Prescribed burning -- Florida
Held by: FBoU FAUER
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/40270
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Owner Institution: FAU

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