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Bats Swarm Where They Hibernate: Compositional Similarity between Autumn Swarming and Winter Hibernation Assemblages at Five Underground Sites.

van Schaik J, Janssen R, Bosch T, Haarsma AJ, Dekker JJ, Kranstauber B - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Our purpose was to characterize the bat assemblages found at five underground sites during both the swarming and the hibernation season and compare the assemblages found during the two seasons both across sites and within species.We found that the relative abundance of individual species per site, as well as the relative proportion of a species that makes use of each site, were both significantly correlated between the swarming and hibernation seasons.These results suggest that swarming may indeed play a role in the localization of suitable hibernation sites.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Eberhard-Gwinner-Strasse, 82319, Seewiesen, Germany.

ABSTRACT
During autumn in the temperate zone of both the new and old world, bats of many species assemble at underground sites in a behaviour known as swarming. Autumn swarming behaviour is thought to primarily serve as a promiscuous mating system, but may also be related to the localization and assessment of hibernacula. Bats subsequently make use of the same underground sites during winter hibernation, however it is currently unknown if the assemblages that make use of a site are comparable across swarming and hibernation seasons. Our purpose was to characterize the bat assemblages found at five underground sites during both the swarming and the hibernation season and compare the assemblages found during the two seasons both across sites and within species. We found that the relative abundance of individual species per site, as well as the relative proportion of a species that makes use of each site, were both significantly correlated between the swarming and hibernation seasons. These results suggest that swarming may indeed play a role in the localization of suitable hibernation sites. Additionally, these findings have important conservation implications, as this correlation can be used to improve monitoring of underground sites and predict the importance of certain sites for rare and cryptic bat species.

No MeSH data available.


Comparison of the relative abundance of bat species during swarming and hibernation seasons measured (A) per site, and (B) per species.For both comparisons the cumulative swarming season (S) is compared to the hibernation survey (H).
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pone.0130850.g002: Comparison of the relative abundance of bat species during swarming and hibernation seasons measured (A) per site, and (B) per species.For both comparisons the cumulative swarming season (S) is compared to the hibernation survey (H).

Mentions: For the six species and the Myotis mystacinus/brandtii complex, for which data in both seasons were sufficient, the per site relative abundance of a species during the swarming season was significantly correlated with the relative abundance of that species at that site during hibernation (F4,5 = 11.67; p = 0.02; Fig 2a). Similarly, per species, there was a clear correlation between the relative proportion of a species found at each site during the swarming season and the relative proportion of that species found at the same site during hibernation (F6,7 = 7.78; p = 0.01; Fig 2b).


Bats Swarm Where They Hibernate: Compositional Similarity between Autumn Swarming and Winter Hibernation Assemblages at Five Underground Sites.

van Schaik J, Janssen R, Bosch T, Haarsma AJ, Dekker JJ, Kranstauber B - PLoS ONE (2015)

Comparison of the relative abundance of bat species during swarming and hibernation seasons measured (A) per site, and (B) per species.For both comparisons the cumulative swarming season (S) is compared to the hibernation survey (H).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4496085&req=5

pone.0130850.g002: Comparison of the relative abundance of bat species during swarming and hibernation seasons measured (A) per site, and (B) per species.For both comparisons the cumulative swarming season (S) is compared to the hibernation survey (H).
Mentions: For the six species and the Myotis mystacinus/brandtii complex, for which data in both seasons were sufficient, the per site relative abundance of a species during the swarming season was significantly correlated with the relative abundance of that species at that site during hibernation (F4,5 = 11.67; p = 0.02; Fig 2a). Similarly, per species, there was a clear correlation between the relative proportion of a species found at each site during the swarming season and the relative proportion of that species found at the same site during hibernation (F6,7 = 7.78; p = 0.01; Fig 2b).

Bottom Line: Our purpose was to characterize the bat assemblages found at five underground sites during both the swarming and the hibernation season and compare the assemblages found during the two seasons both across sites and within species.We found that the relative abundance of individual species per site, as well as the relative proportion of a species that makes use of each site, were both significantly correlated between the swarming and hibernation seasons.These results suggest that swarming may indeed play a role in the localization of suitable hibernation sites.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Eberhard-Gwinner-Strasse, 82319, Seewiesen, Germany.

ABSTRACT
During autumn in the temperate zone of both the new and old world, bats of many species assemble at underground sites in a behaviour known as swarming. Autumn swarming behaviour is thought to primarily serve as a promiscuous mating system, but may also be related to the localization and assessment of hibernacula. Bats subsequently make use of the same underground sites during winter hibernation, however it is currently unknown if the assemblages that make use of a site are comparable across swarming and hibernation seasons. Our purpose was to characterize the bat assemblages found at five underground sites during both the swarming and the hibernation season and compare the assemblages found during the two seasons both across sites and within species. We found that the relative abundance of individual species per site, as well as the relative proportion of a species that makes use of each site, were both significantly correlated between the swarming and hibernation seasons. These results suggest that swarming may indeed play a role in the localization of suitable hibernation sites. Additionally, these findings have important conservation implications, as this correlation can be used to improve monitoring of underground sites and predict the importance of certain sites for rare and cryptic bat species.

No MeSH data available.