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Sympatric woodland Myotis bats form tight-knit social groups with exclusive roost home ranges.

August TA, Nunn MA, Fensome AG, Linton DM, Mathews F - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Using data on 490 ringed M. nattereri and 978 M. daubentonii from 379 colonies, we found that both species formed stable social groups encompassing multiple colonies.In contrast, M. daubentonii were sexually segregated; only a quarter of pairs were associated at recapture after a few days, and inter-sex associations were not long-lasting.M. daubentonii bachelor colonies did not appear to be excluded from roosting areas used by females.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom; University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Background: The structuring of wild animal populations can influence population dynamics, disease spread, and information transfer. Social network analysis potentially offers insights into these processes but is rarely, if ever, used to investigate more than one species in a community. We therefore compared the social, temporal and spatial networks of sympatric Myotis bats (M. nattereri (Natterer's bats) and M. daubentonii (Daubenton's bats)), and asked: (1) are there long-lasting social associations within species? (2) do the ranges occupied by roosting social groups overlap within or between species? (3) are M. daubentonii bachelor colonies excluded from roosting in areas used by maternity groups?

Results: Using data on 490 ringed M. nattereri and 978 M. daubentonii from 379 colonies, we found that both species formed stable social groups encompassing multiple colonies. M. nattereri formed 11 mixed-sex social groups with few (4.3%) inter-group associations. Approximately half of all M. nattereri were associated with the same individuals when recaptured, with many associations being long-term (>100 days). In contrast, M. daubentonii were sexually segregated; only a quarter of pairs were associated at recapture after a few days, and inter-sex associations were not long-lasting. Social groups of M. nattereri and female M. daubentonii had small roost home ranges (mean 0.2 km2 in each case). Intra-specific overlap was low, but inter-specific overlap was high, suggesting territoriality within but not between species. M. daubentonii bachelor colonies did not appear to be excluded from roosting areas used by females.

Conclusions: Our data suggest marked species- and sex-specific patterns of disease and information transmission are likely between bats of the same genus despite sharing a common habitat. The clear partitioning of the woodland amongst social groups, and their apparent reliance on small patches of habitat for roosting, means that localised woodland management may be more important to bat conservation than previously recognised.

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Social network visualisation a) male and female M. nattereri, b) male and female M. daubentonii, c) female M. daubentonii, and d) male M. daubentonii.a) M. nattereri male (n = 85) and female (n = 214), modularity  = 0.74, b) M. daubentonii (n = 344), modularity  = 0.66, c) female M. daubentonii (n = 145), modularity  = 0.67, d) male M. daubentonii (n = 199), modularity  = 0.64. Nodes represent individual bats (males, circles; females, triangles) and associations are represented by the lines that join them. Colours indicate the assignment of individuals to social groups using the Girvan-Newman algorithm. Colours do not correspond between panels. Colours in a) and c) are comparable to Figure 3. The position of individuals within these networks indicates their position in social space and is not an indication of an individual's geographical location.
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pone-0112225-g001: Social network visualisation a) male and female M. nattereri, b) male and female M. daubentonii, c) female M. daubentonii, and d) male M. daubentonii.a) M. nattereri male (n = 85) and female (n = 214), modularity  = 0.74, b) M. daubentonii (n = 344), modularity  = 0.66, c) female M. daubentonii (n = 145), modularity  = 0.67, d) male M. daubentonii (n = 199), modularity  = 0.64. Nodes represent individual bats (males, circles; females, triangles) and associations are represented by the lines that join them. Colours indicate the assignment of individuals to social groups using the Girvan-Newman algorithm. Colours do not correspond between panels. Colours in a) and c) are comparable to Figure 3. The position of individuals within these networks indicates their position in social space and is not an indication of an individual's geographical location.

Mentions: M. nattereri formed 11 social groups (Figure 1a) with 6 unconnected components. Despite evidence of assortment by sex, M. nattereri social groups were composed of a mix of males and females suggestive of a single social group with females at the core. Inter-group associations by either sex were rare, making up only 4.3% of all associations (n = 4258).


Sympatric woodland Myotis bats form tight-knit social groups with exclusive roost home ranges.

August TA, Nunn MA, Fensome AG, Linton DM, Mathews F - PLoS ONE (2014)

Social network visualisation a) male and female M. nattereri, b) male and female M. daubentonii, c) female M. daubentonii, and d) male M. daubentonii.a) M. nattereri male (n = 85) and female (n = 214), modularity  = 0.74, b) M. daubentonii (n = 344), modularity  = 0.66, c) female M. daubentonii (n = 145), modularity  = 0.67, d) male M. daubentonii (n = 199), modularity  = 0.64. Nodes represent individual bats (males, circles; females, triangles) and associations are represented by the lines that join them. Colours indicate the assignment of individuals to social groups using the Girvan-Newman algorithm. Colours do not correspond between panels. Colours in a) and c) are comparable to Figure 3. The position of individuals within these networks indicates their position in social space and is not an indication of an individual's geographical location.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4214762&req=5

pone-0112225-g001: Social network visualisation a) male and female M. nattereri, b) male and female M. daubentonii, c) female M. daubentonii, and d) male M. daubentonii.a) M. nattereri male (n = 85) and female (n = 214), modularity  = 0.74, b) M. daubentonii (n = 344), modularity  = 0.66, c) female M. daubentonii (n = 145), modularity  = 0.67, d) male M. daubentonii (n = 199), modularity  = 0.64. Nodes represent individual bats (males, circles; females, triangles) and associations are represented by the lines that join them. Colours indicate the assignment of individuals to social groups using the Girvan-Newman algorithm. Colours do not correspond between panels. Colours in a) and c) are comparable to Figure 3. The position of individuals within these networks indicates their position in social space and is not an indication of an individual's geographical location.
Mentions: M. nattereri formed 11 social groups (Figure 1a) with 6 unconnected components. Despite evidence of assortment by sex, M. nattereri social groups were composed of a mix of males and females suggestive of a single social group with females at the core. Inter-group associations by either sex were rare, making up only 4.3% of all associations (n = 4258).

Bottom Line: Using data on 490 ringed M. nattereri and 978 M. daubentonii from 379 colonies, we found that both species formed stable social groups encompassing multiple colonies.In contrast, M. daubentonii were sexually segregated; only a quarter of pairs were associated at recapture after a few days, and inter-sex associations were not long-lasting.M. daubentonii bachelor colonies did not appear to be excluded from roosting areas used by females.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom; University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Background: The structuring of wild animal populations can influence population dynamics, disease spread, and information transfer. Social network analysis potentially offers insights into these processes but is rarely, if ever, used to investigate more than one species in a community. We therefore compared the social, temporal and spatial networks of sympatric Myotis bats (M. nattereri (Natterer's bats) and M. daubentonii (Daubenton's bats)), and asked: (1) are there long-lasting social associations within species? (2) do the ranges occupied by roosting social groups overlap within or between species? (3) are M. daubentonii bachelor colonies excluded from roosting in areas used by maternity groups?

Results: Using data on 490 ringed M. nattereri and 978 M. daubentonii from 379 colonies, we found that both species formed stable social groups encompassing multiple colonies. M. nattereri formed 11 mixed-sex social groups with few (4.3%) inter-group associations. Approximately half of all M. nattereri were associated with the same individuals when recaptured, with many associations being long-term (>100 days). In contrast, M. daubentonii were sexually segregated; only a quarter of pairs were associated at recapture after a few days, and inter-sex associations were not long-lasting. Social groups of M. nattereri and female M. daubentonii had small roost home ranges (mean 0.2 km2 in each case). Intra-specific overlap was low, but inter-specific overlap was high, suggesting territoriality within but not between species. M. daubentonii bachelor colonies did not appear to be excluded from roosting areas used by females.

Conclusions: Our data suggest marked species- and sex-specific patterns of disease and information transmission are likely between bats of the same genus despite sharing a common habitat. The clear partitioning of the woodland amongst social groups, and their apparent reliance on small patches of habitat for roosting, means that localised woodland management may be more important to bat conservation than previously recognised.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus