Influence of urbanization on the occurrence and activity of aerial insectivorous bats

Periodo de realización: 2016/06/01 al 2016/01/01

Tipo: Artículo científico

Lugar(es) de estudio: San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., México
Resumen: "Activity and species-specific responses of insectivorous bats in different urban-forest conditions provides a general perspective on the adaptability and vulnerability of bat species towards urbanization intensity. Here we evaluated species richness and activity patterns of aerial insectivorous bats across an urbanized landscape in the highlands of Chiapas, in Mexico. Acoustic monitoring of echolocation calls was conducted for 27 nights over a period of four months. Species richness and relative activity of insectivorous bats were estimated in a landscape with different conditions of urbanization intensity: urban areas, non-urban and forest areas. We identified a total of 14 bat species and three phonotypes. Bat species richness and relative activity was similar (X2 = 0.568, gl = 2, p > 0.05), but species composition differed among conditions. We observed a significant higher occurrence of Bauerus dubiaquercus, Eptesicus brasiliensis and Myotis californicus in forest sites. Urban sites presented higher occurrence of Molossus rufus and phonotype Molossidae 2, while non-urban sites presented a higher occurrence of Eptesicus furinalis and phonotype Molossidae 2. We were able to identify bat species according to their relative activity in relation todifferent landscape conditions. Species of the Molossidae family presented the highest activity in urban sites, which was positively affected by the number of streetlights, while species of the Vespertilionidae presented the highest activity in forest sites, which was positively related totree density. While urbanization tends to diminish native biodiversity and alter faunal communities, our results show a similar richness and relative activity of aerial insectivorous bats along the urban ecosystem. The effect of urbanization intensity becomes more apparent in species-specific bat activity"

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