Macro and Microhabitat Associations of the Peter's Tent-Roosting Bat (Uroderma bilobatum): Human-Induced Selection and Colonization?

Maria Sagot, Bernal Rodríguez-Herrera, Richard D. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding species-specific habitat selection is essential to identify how natural systems are assembled and maintained, and how emerging natural and anthropogenic disturbances will affect ecosystem function. In the Neotropics, Peter's tent-roosting bat (Uroderma bilobatum), known to roost in forests, has become abundant in human-modified areas. To understand how habitat characteristics in both intact forest and human-modified areas influence the presence and density of U. bilobatum, we characterized habitat use at two scales (macrohabitat and microhabitat) and used logistic and poisson regressions to determine which habitat characteristics best predicted the presence and density of U. bilobatum within each scale. Moreover, we performed a redundancy analysis to determine which habitat scale explained more variation. As these bats are obligate tent roosters, we used tent as a surrogate for bat presence and density. We found that both macrohabitat and microhabitat scales explained variation in presence and density. Characteristics of the microhabitat scale, however, had higher predictive power, revealing that U. bilobatum preferentially inhabits areas with high density of coconut palms. Coconut palms were introduced recently in the Neotropics and are found only in human-modified areas. Therefore, we hypothesize that U. bilobatum is expanding its range into these areas following the expanded distribution of this exotic plant species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-519
Number of pages9
JournalBiotropica
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Chiroptera
  • Costa Rica
  • Habitat scales
  • Habitat selection
  • Roost selection
  • Tents

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