Check Dams in an Ephemeral Stream in a Tropical Deciduous Forest Extend Water Period with Minimal Effect on Reptile Assemblage


Although numerous check dams have been constructed in many countries, and its effect on physical factors were well documented, only a few reports were available on its effect on biotic component in adjacent area. This research aims to address effects of the check dam on reptile assemblage in an ephemeral stream based on an assumption that reptile live in the stream and adjacent area may be susceptible to prolonged hydroperiod after check dam construction. Ten stream transects and 40 terrestrial strip transects, including 5, 10, 25, and 50 m from the stream, were used to monitor reptile diversity and composition in a deciduous forest of northern Thailand during April 2009 to February 2011. Physical factors related to water pattern in the stream and the terrestrial habitats were also collected. Results on physical factors indicated that the water pattern and soil moisture in the stream, as well as leaf litter moisture in the terrestrial habitat were increased as a result of the check dam. However, rarefaction curve indicated that reptile diversity was not significantly different between pre- and post-check dam periods in every transect. Moreover, Morisita’s index of similarity indicated that reptile composition between pre- and post-check dam periods was approximately the same (86% - 100%). These results indicated that reptile assemblage was not affected by the check dam. It can be concluded based on data of one year after the check dam construction that check dam can effectively prolong water and moisture to the habitat with minimal effect on reptile assemblage in the area.

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R. Phochayavanich, W. Khonsue and N. Kitana, "Check Dams in an Ephemeral Stream in a Tropical Deciduous Forest Extend Water Period with Minimal Effect on Reptile Assemblage," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 4 No. 6, 2012, pp. 363-369. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2012.46041.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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