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Impacts of a wildfire on the mortality rate and small-scale movements of a Hermann's tortoise Testudo hermanni hermanni population in southeastern France

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Because they have high longevity and a weak dispersal capacity, chelonians are known to be highly impacted by fire. We investigated the immediate demographic consequences of a wildfire occurring in 2009 on a population of Hermann's tortoises Testudo hermanni in the Plaine des Maures in southeastern France using the multistate capture–recapture method. Over two years (2009 and 2010), 108 adult individuals were marked. Survival probability was higher in the unburned (0.99) than in the burned area (0.43). The inter-annual transition probability from the burned to the unburned area was high (0.72). These results show that fire affects survival by immediately killing individuals and by inducing small-scale movements from burned to unburned areas.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire de Biogéographie et Ecologie des Vertébrés, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Centre d'Ecologie Evolutive et Fonctionnelle, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5175, 1919 Route de Mende, F34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France;, Email: thibaut.couturier@wanadoo.fr; 2: Laboratoire de Biogéographie et Ecologie des Vertébrés, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Centre d'Ecologie Evolutive et Fonctionnelle, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5175, 1919 Route de Mende, F34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France; 3: Laboratoire de Biogéographie et Ecologie des Vertébrés, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Centre d'Ecologie Evolutive et Fonctionnelle, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5175, 1919 Route de Mende, F34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR), Département de chimie-biologie, 3351 Boulevard des Forges, Trois-Rivières, G9A 5H7 Québec, Canada; 4: Laboratoire de Biogéographie et Ecologie des Vertébrés, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Centre d'Ecologie Evolutive et Fonctionnelle, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5175, 1919 Route de Mende, F34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853811x601627
2011-11-01
2016-12-11

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