The structure of a micro-bat community in relation to gradients of environmental variation in a tropical urban area
Hourigan, C.L., Johnson, C., and Robson, S.K.A. (2006) The structure of a micro-bat community in relation to gradients of environmental variation in a tropical urban area. Urban Ecosystems, 9 (2). pp. 67-82.
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We investigated patterns of community structure (species composition, foraging activity, and nightly foraging patterns) of bats in relation to gradients of environmental variation in a tropical urban area. A total of 32 sites spread equally across eight habitat types were sampled in the city of Townsville, North Queensland, Australia. Each site was sampled on 3 non-consecutive occasions using automated AnaBat systems. Eleven species were confidently identified while a possible four more were identified only to the genus level. Ordination of environmental variables measured at these sites identified two distinct environmental gradients reflecting the degree of urbanisation and foliage density. With increasing urbanisation there was a decline in species richness and total foraging activity. We used regression trees to characterise foraging preferences of each species. This analysis suggested that only one species of Mormopterus was able to exploit the resources provided by urbanisation. This species foraged in areas with higher numbers of white streetlights. The remaining species of bats preferred to forage within close proximity to natural vegetation and with low numbers of streetlights. The density of vegetation in long-established suburbs did not substantially reverse the trend for urban areas to have fewer bat species than original habitats.
|Item Type:||Article (Refereed Research - C1)|
|Keywords:||micro-bat; tropical urban gradient; foraging patterns; species composition; community structure|
|FoR Codes:||06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology @ 100%|
|SEO Codes:||96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%|
|Deposited On:||12 Nov 2009 15:39|
|Last Modified:||13 Feb 2011 06:36|
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