The Influence of Water Source Type and Insect Abundance on Bat Foraging Behavior in a Managed Pine Landscape

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Melissa Anne Vindigni (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Matina Kalcounis-Rüppell

Abstract: Bats forage over calm, open water presumably because of high insect abundance, low echolocation interference, and few flight obstacles. Changes to the physical structure of water sources could be important to bats. Many wetlands in coastal North Carolina have been drained and commercial forestry is now a primary land use. Water sources within managed forests are mostly man-made ponds and ditches. I examined bats in a managed pine landscape and an adjacent natural wetland to determine how water source type and insect abundance affected commuting and foraging activity, species activity, and species diversity of bats. I collected data using remote acoustic sampling, mist nets, and passive insect traps. In 2006, total bat activity and the number of eastern red, eastern pipistrelle, and big brown bats recorded per night were higher at heliponds. In 2007, the number of eastern pipistrelle, big brown, and hoary bats recorded per night was highest at heliponds and there was a water source * insect abundance interaction. In both years, foraging activity levels and bat species diversity were similar among water sources. Heliponds appear to be an important resource for insect prey and bats in managed pine forests. Management for bats and other wildlife should include helipond maintenance.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Bats, Managed pine, Heliponds, Coastal North Carolina
Bats $x Effect of habitat modification on $z North Carolina.
Bats $x Effect of forest management on $z North Carolina.
Bats $x Water requirements.
Bats $x Food.
Bats $x Behavior.
Forest ecology $z North Carolina.

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