TITLE

Spatiotemporal variation in activity of bat species differing in hunting tactics: effects of weather, moonlight, food abundance, and structural clutter

AUTHOR(S)
Ciechanowski, M.; Zając, T.; BiŽas, A.; Dunajski, R.
PUB. DATE
December 2007
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Zoology;Dec2007, Vol. 85 Issue 12, p1249
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Different foraging tactics in related animal taxa may be expected to cause species-specific differences in sensitivity to temporal and spatial variations of resources. To test this, we studied spatiotemporal dynamics of flight and foraging activity in seven insectivorous bat species in northern Poland using broadband ultrasound detection, recording of weather conditions, insect abundance, moon phase, and cover of floating vegetation. The seven species studied comprised six (genera Eptesicus Rafinesque, 1820, Pipistrellus Kaup, 1829, and Nyctalus Bowdich, 1825) that were classified as aerial hawkers and one (Myotis daubentonii (Kuhl, 1817)) that was classified as a water-surface forager. Stepwise forward multiple regression models indicated that the prominent limiting factors for aerial hawkers were biomass of potential prey and air temperature. Analysis of the activity of the water-surface forager revealed no effect of food abundance or air temperature, but activity was negatively affected by floating vegetation (which masks echoes of prey items), fog (which absorbs echolocation calls), and moonlight (possible increased predation risk). Hence, trophic resources appear to have no significance as a limiting factor for species using microhabitats with unusually high prey abundance (e.g., water surface). Activities of such species, however, may be more affected by temporally changing detectibility of food items and vulnerability to predation pressure.
ACCESSION #
28648194

 

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