The traditional use of keystone habitats by the European adder Vipera berus berus Linnaeus, 1758 the consequences of behavioral studies for conservation strategies Die traditionelle Nutzung von Schluesselhabitaten bei der Kreuzotter Vipera berus berus Linnaeus, 1758 Konsequenzen aus verhaltensoekologischen Untersuchungen fuer Schutzkonzeptionen

Voelkl, W.; Kornacker, P.M.

Mertensiella 1 Dezember; 15: 221-228

2004


Accession: 038816035

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Abstract
In the mountaineous areas of Central Europe, the European adder (Vipera berus) inhabits mainly patchily distributed open areas within coniferous forest. In that fragmented habitat, mating places represent keystones for the shakes' annual cycle and for the long-term population density. Distinct subpopulations use traditional mating places. We assume that this behaviour provides the opportunity that all adders of a subpopulation will easily meet for reproduction within the naturally highly fragmented forest landscape. This traditionality bears, however, also threats for the adder. If mating places were destroyed, the particular subpopulations declined because the adult addersseemed to accept only closely situated open areas as alternative mating places. Conservation measures for the adder, which is considered to be endangered in Germany, therefore must focus on the long-term protection of mating places.