Browsing by Subject "FRUGIVOROUS BATS"

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  • Rocha, Ricardo; Ferreira, Diogo F.; Lopez-Baucells, Adria; Farneda, Fabio Z.; Carreiras, Joao M. B.; Palmeirim, Jorge M.; Meyer, Christoph F. J. (2017)
    Understanding the consequences of habitat modification on wildlife communities is central to the development of conservation strategies. However, albeit male and female individuals of numerous species are known to exhibit differences in habitat use, sex-specific responses to habitat modification remain little explored. Here, we used a landscape-scale fragmentation experiment to assess, separately for males and females, the effects of fragmentation on the abundance of Carollia perspicillata and Rhinophylla pumilio, two widespread Neotropical frugivorous bats. We predicted that sex-specific responses would arise from higher energetic requirements from pregnancy and lactation in females. Analyses were conducted independently for each season, and we further investigated the joint responses to local and landscape-scale metrics of habitat quality, composition, and configuration. Although males and females responded similarly to a fragmentation gradient composed by continuous forest, fragment interiors, edges, and matrix habitats, we found marked differences between sexes in habitat use for at least one of the seasons. Whereas the sex ratio varied little in continuous forest and fragment interiors, females were found to be more abundant than males in edge and matrix habitats. This difference was more prominent in the dry season, the reproductive season of both species. For both species, abundance responses to local-and landscape-scale predictors differed between sexes and again, differences were more pronounced in the dry season. The results suggest considerable sex-mediated responses to forest disruption and degradation in tropical bats and complement our understanding of the impacts of fragmentation on tropical forest vertebrate communities. Abstract in Portuguese is available with online material.
  • Kelm, Detlev H.; Toelch, Ulf; Jones, Mirkka M. (2021)
    Background: Mixed-species groups in animals have been shown to confer antipredator, foraging and other benefits to their members that may provide selective advantages. In most cases, however, it is unclear whether functional benefits are a principal driver of heterospecific groups, or whether groups simply result from simultaneous exploitation of common resources. Mixed-species groups that form independently of environmental conditions may, however, evidence direct benefits of species associations. Bats are among the most gregarious mammals, with sometimes thousands of individuals of various species roosting communally. Despite numerous potential functional benefits of such mixed-species roosting groups, interspecific attraction has never been shown. To explore alternative explanations for mixed-species roosting, we studied roost selection in a speciose neotropical understory bat community in lowland rainforest in Costa Rica. Long term roost data were recorded over 10 years in a total of 133 roosts comprising both natural roosts and structurally uniform artificial roosts. We modelled bat roost occupancy and abundance in each roost type and in forest and pasture habitats to quantify the effects of roost- and environmental variability. Results: We found that bat species presence in natural roosts is predictable from habitat and structural roost parameters, but that the presence and abundance of other bat species further modifies roost choice. One third of the 12 study species were found to actively associate with selected other bat species in roosts (e.g. Glossophaga commissarisi with Carollia sowelli). Other species did not engage in communal roosting, which in some cases indicates a role for negative interspecific interactions, such as roost competition. Conclusions: Mixed-species roosting may provide thermoregulatory benefits, reduce intraspecific competition and promote interspecific information transfer, and hence some heterospecific associations may be selected for in bats. Overall, our study contributes to an improved understanding of the array of factors that shape diverse tropical bat communities and drive the dynamics of heterospecific grouping in mammals more generally.