Amphibian and reptile communities in eleven Sites of Community Importance (SCI): relations between SCI area, heterogeneity and richness

Luca Canova, Manuela Marchesi


Seven species of amphibians and reptiles were observed in eleven Sites of Community Importance (SCI) of the Lodi Province (NW Italy). Distribution and relative abundance of amphibians appeared more variable than reptiles. Some species of conservation concern as R. latastei were influenced by habitat physiognomy, i.e. the surface of wooded areas are important in predict presence and relative abundance of this species. SCI with wider surfaces and higher habitat heterogeneity included higher number of species. Species richness, here considered as a raw index of biodiversity value and community quality, was significantly related to SCI area and habitat heterogeneity; since this significant positive relation is confirmed both for amphibians and reptiles we suggest that, in planning of natural areas, priority must be retained for biotopes able to host the higher number of species.

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