Geographical ecology of Paraguayan bats: Spatial integration and metacommunity structure of interacting assemblages

Richard D. Stevens, Celia López-González, Steven J. Presley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

1. We examined the relative contributions of regional spatial characteristics and local environmental conditions in determining Paraguayan bat species composition. 2. We used a suite of full and partial redundancy analyses to estimate four additive partitions of variance in bat species composition: (a) unexplained variation, (b) that explained purely by spatial characteristics, (c) that explained purely by local environmental conditions and (d) that explained jointly by space and environment. The spatial component to bat species composition was greater than the environmental component and both pure spatial and pure environmental characteristics accounted for significant amounts of variation in bat species composition. 3. Results from variance decomposition suggest that the mass effects model describes metacommunity structure of Paraguayan bats better than species sorting or neutral models. Such mass effects may potentially be general for bats and could explain the inability of purely local factors to fully account for bat community organization. Mass effects also have substantial conservation implications because rescue effects may enhance the persistence of mobile species in fragmented landscapes with relatively few protected sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1086-1093
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
Volume76
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

Keywords

  • Bat assemblage
  • Chiroptera
  • Community structure
  • Metacommunity
  • Variance decomposition

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