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Frugivorous bats maintain functional habitat connectivity in agricultural landscapes but rely strongly on natural forest fragments.

Ripperger SP, Kalko EK, Rodríguez-Herrera B, Mayer F, Tschapka M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Anthropogenic changes in land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by the conversion of natural habitat into agricultural mosaic landscapes, often with drastic consequences for the associated fauna.However, larger daily ranges were associated with higher use of degraded habitats.This behavior demonstrates the potential of frugivorous bats to functionally connect fragmented areas by providing ecosystem services between natural and degraded sites, and highlights the need for conservation of natural habitat patches within agricultural landscapes that meet the roosting requirements of bats.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, Berlin, Germany; Institute of Experimental Ecology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Anthropogenic changes in land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by the conversion of natural habitat into agricultural mosaic landscapes, often with drastic consequences for the associated fauna. The first step in the development of efficient conservation plans is to understand movement of animals through complex habitat mosaics. Therefore, we studied ranging behavior and habitat use in Dermanura watsoni (Phyllostomidae), a frugivorous bat species that is a valuable seed disperser in degraded ecosystems. Radio-tracking of sixteen bats showed that the animals strongly rely on natural forest. Day roosts were exclusively located within mature forest fragments. Selection ratios showed that the bats foraged selectively within the available habitat and positively selected natural forest. However, larger daily ranges were associated with higher use of degraded habitats. Home range geometry and composition of focal foraging areas indicated that wider ranging bats performed directional foraging bouts from natural to degraded forest sites traversing the matrix over distances of up to three hundred meters. This behavior demonstrates the potential of frugivorous bats to functionally connect fragmented areas by providing ecosystem services between natural and degraded sites, and highlights the need for conservation of natural habitat patches within agricultural landscapes that meet the roosting requirements of bats.

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Land-cover composition of focal foraging areas of 16 bat individuals.Bat IDs refer to table 1. Near focus areas were located closer to the day roost. Far focus areas were visited by longer distance commutes. (a) averaged values of 11 bat individuals which foraged on a single focus area. n indicates the number of radio fixes.
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pone.0120535.g002: Land-cover composition of focal foraging areas of 16 bat individuals.Bat IDs refer to table 1. Near focus areas were located closer to the day roost. Far focus areas were visited by longer distance commutes. (a) averaged values of 11 bat individuals which foraged on a single focus area. n indicates the number of radio fixes.

Mentions: In eleven bats total home ranges comprised a focus area that contained the day roost(s) of the respective bat or was located close by. However, in five individuals the 50% LoCoH isopleths showed a second, spatially separated focus area, on average 660 m (range: 330 to 1050 m) away from the particular day roost. Commutes between focus areas extended about 200 to 340 m beyond the forest border into the matrix. Those bats used to forage at first within the near focus area close to the day roost and performed one to two foraging bouts to the far focus area within a six-hour interval. The Fisher’s Exact tests revealed highly significant differences between the habitat categories that corresponded to bat locations within the near vs. the far focus area, respectively, for all five bats after sequential Bonferroni correction (p < 0.001 in all five cases; lowest adjusted α–level: 0.05/5 = 0.01). In all five individuals the focus area that was situated closer to the day roost was strongly dominated by natural forest, as it was in the bats with only one focus area, whereas the second patch was dominated by natural forest only in a single individual, and by degraded forest in four individual bats (Fig. 2). Inspection of such degraded sites where bats were foraging revealed that pioneer plants such as Cecropia sp. and Solanum sp. were present.


Frugivorous bats maintain functional habitat connectivity in agricultural landscapes but rely strongly on natural forest fragments.

Ripperger SP, Kalko EK, Rodríguez-Herrera B, Mayer F, Tschapka M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Land-cover composition of focal foraging areas of 16 bat individuals.Bat IDs refer to table 1. Near focus areas were located closer to the day roost. Far focus areas were visited by longer distance commutes. (a) averaged values of 11 bat individuals which foraged on a single focus area. n indicates the number of radio fixes.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4382216&req=5

pone.0120535.g002: Land-cover composition of focal foraging areas of 16 bat individuals.Bat IDs refer to table 1. Near focus areas were located closer to the day roost. Far focus areas were visited by longer distance commutes. (a) averaged values of 11 bat individuals which foraged on a single focus area. n indicates the number of radio fixes.
Mentions: In eleven bats total home ranges comprised a focus area that contained the day roost(s) of the respective bat or was located close by. However, in five individuals the 50% LoCoH isopleths showed a second, spatially separated focus area, on average 660 m (range: 330 to 1050 m) away from the particular day roost. Commutes between focus areas extended about 200 to 340 m beyond the forest border into the matrix. Those bats used to forage at first within the near focus area close to the day roost and performed one to two foraging bouts to the far focus area within a six-hour interval. The Fisher’s Exact tests revealed highly significant differences between the habitat categories that corresponded to bat locations within the near vs. the far focus area, respectively, for all five bats after sequential Bonferroni correction (p < 0.001 in all five cases; lowest adjusted α–level: 0.05/5 = 0.01). In all five individuals the focus area that was situated closer to the day roost was strongly dominated by natural forest, as it was in the bats with only one focus area, whereas the second patch was dominated by natural forest only in a single individual, and by degraded forest in four individual bats (Fig. 2). Inspection of such degraded sites where bats were foraging revealed that pioneer plants such as Cecropia sp. and Solanum sp. were present.

Bottom Line: Anthropogenic changes in land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by the conversion of natural habitat into agricultural mosaic landscapes, often with drastic consequences for the associated fauna.However, larger daily ranges were associated with higher use of degraded habitats.This behavior demonstrates the potential of frugivorous bats to functionally connect fragmented areas by providing ecosystem services between natural and degraded sites, and highlights the need for conservation of natural habitat patches within agricultural landscapes that meet the roosting requirements of bats.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, Berlin, Germany; Institute of Experimental Ecology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Anthropogenic changes in land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by the conversion of natural habitat into agricultural mosaic landscapes, often with drastic consequences for the associated fauna. The first step in the development of efficient conservation plans is to understand movement of animals through complex habitat mosaics. Therefore, we studied ranging behavior and habitat use in Dermanura watsoni (Phyllostomidae), a frugivorous bat species that is a valuable seed disperser in degraded ecosystems. Radio-tracking of sixteen bats showed that the animals strongly rely on natural forest. Day roosts were exclusively located within mature forest fragments. Selection ratios showed that the bats foraged selectively within the available habitat and positively selected natural forest. However, larger daily ranges were associated with higher use of degraded habitats. Home range geometry and composition of focal foraging areas indicated that wider ranging bats performed directional foraging bouts from natural to degraded forest sites traversing the matrix over distances of up to three hundred meters. This behavior demonstrates the potential of frugivorous bats to functionally connect fragmented areas by providing ecosystem services between natural and degraded sites, and highlights the need for conservation of natural habitat patches within agricultural landscapes that meet the roosting requirements of bats.

Show MeSH