The evolution of group stability and roost lifespan: Perspectives from tent-roosting bats

Maria Sagot, Richard D. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Although multiple hypotheses have been proposed to explain group formation, few fully explain the diversity of social interactions found in foliage-roosting bats. Among these bats, tent-roosting species are capable of constructing their own shelters. Although many bats utilize tents previously constructed by other species, it has been suggested that a particular subset of tent-roosting bats specialize on making tents from particular plant species. Tents provide protection from weather and often a place to roost close to foraging sites. Moreover, tent lifespan is plant species specific and may last from a few weeks to more than a year. To better understand effects that roosts have on social bonds of tent-roosting bats, we conducted a literature review to collect information on social systems and tent lifespan. We tested correlated evolution of group stability and group longevity with tent lifespan using Pagel's method for discrete characters. We found that group stability and group longevity are correlated with tent lifespan. That there is correlated evolution between these characters contributes to our understanding of how different mechanisms interact to produce a variety of social systems in mammals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Correlated evolution
  • Group longevity
  • Social systems
  • Tent lifespan


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