Study ID 516

A large-scale fragmentation experiment for Neotropical bats

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Realm: Terrestrial
Climate: Tropical
Biome: Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
Central latitude: -2.386381
Central longitude: -59.918769
Duration: 5 years, from 1997 to 2013

1380 records

45 distinct species

Across the time series Carollia perspicillata is the most frequently occurring species


Rocha, R. (2017) Tropical forest fragmentation: effects on the spatio-temporal dynamics of its bat communities. PhD Thesis, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.Rocha, R., López-Baucells, A., Farneda, F.Z., Groenenberg, M., Bobrowiec, P.E.D., Cabeza, M., Palmeirim, J.M. & Meyer, C.F.J. (2017) Consequences of a large-scale fragmentation experiment for Neotropical bats: disentangling the relative importance of local and landscape-scale effects. Landscape Ecology, 32, 31-45.Sampaio, E.M., Kalko, E.K., Bernard, E., Rodríguez-Herrera, B. & Handley, C.O. (2003) A biodiversity assessment of bats (Chiroptera) in a tropical lowland rainforest of Central Amazonia, including methodological and conservation considerations. Studies on Neotropical fauna and environment, 38, 17-31.Rocha, R., Ovaskainen, O., López-Baucells, A., Farneda, F.Z., Sampaio, E.M., Bobrowiec, P.E.D., Cabeza, M., Palmeirim, J.M. & Meyer, C.F.J. (2018) Secondary forest regeneration benefits old-growth specialist bats in a fragmented tropical landscape. Scientific Reports, 8, 3819. Farneda, F.Z., Rocha, R., López-Baucells, A., Sampaio, E.M., Palmeirim, J.M., Bobrowiec, P.E., Grelle, C.E. & Meyer, C.F. (2018) Functional recovery of Amazonian bat assemblages following secondary forest succession. Biological Conservation, 218, 192-199.


We surveyed bats in 39 sites, comprising continuous forest (CF), fragments, forest edges and intervening secondary regrowth. For each site, we assessed vegetation structure (local-scale variable) and, for five focal scales, quantified habitat amount and four landscape configuration metrics. Each sampling site was visited eight times over a 2-year period, between August 2011 and June 2013. Bats were captured using 14 ground-level mist nets (12 9 2.5 m, 16 mm mesh, ECOTONE, Poland) in CF and fragment interiors, and seven ground-level mist nets at the edge and matrix sites. Mist nets were deployed along existing trails which are known to be used by Neotropical bats as commuting flyways (Palmeirim and Etheridge 1985). At edge sites, these trails ran parallel to the border between primary forest and secondary regrowth. In our study area mist netting efficiency was found to be highest in the first few hours after sunset (Bernard 2002). Sampling therefore started at dusk and was performed for 6 h during which nets were visited at intervals of*20 min. Mist netting at the same location for consecutive days can lead to diminishing capture efficiency over time (Marques et al. 2013). Such net-shyness related bias was avoided by spacing visits to the same site 3–4 weeks apart. Species were identified following Gardner (2007) and Lim and Engstrom (2010), and taxonomy follows Gardner (2007). Most adult bats were marked with individually numbered ball-chain necklaces (frugivores and Pteronotus parnellii) or subcutaneous transponders (gleaning animalivores). We restricted analyses to phyllostomids and P. parnellii, since all other species in Neotropical bat assemblages are known to be inadequately sampled with mist-nets (Kalko 1998). For further detail please see associated papers in citation table.