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Assessing the structure of a Neotropical bat community using acoustic monitoring techniques

Estrada-Villegas, S, Meyer, Christoph FJ, McGill, B and Kalko, EKV 2015, 'Assessing the structure of a Neotropical bat community using acoustic monitoring techniques' , The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA), 138 (3) , p. 1905.

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Determining the structure and composition of tropical communities is challenging because some species are rare or hard to detect. Within Neotropical bats, aerial insectivores have been systematically undersampled because they avoid mist nets, the traditional sampling tool. Advances in bioacoustic monitoring techniques have allowed the study aerial insectivorous bat (AIB) communities across various spatial scales and habitats. We present two studies that assessed the underlying mechanisms that structure an AIB community across the Isthmus of Panama. First, we evaluated how habitat fragmentation affected two guilds of AIBs and found higher species richness in islands than in continuous forests. Background clutter aerial insectivores showed compositional differences due to effects of isolation, area, and forest complexity, whereas open space bats were not affected by fragmentation. Second, we determined how climate and forest complexity affected AIB community structure at different spatial scales. We found that most of the variation in bat richness, abundance, and feeding activity occurred at the smallest spatial scale (10×10m) and was explained by habitat structure. In contrast, at large scales, climatic differences explained most of the variation in individual species’ abundances. Interestingly, species richness peaked at intermediate levels of precipitation, while total abundance was very similar across sites.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA)
Publisher: Acoustical Society of America
ISSN: 0001-4966
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Dr Christoph Meyer
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2016 12:01
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2016 12:08

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