Rapid increases in bat activity and diversity after wetland construction in an urban ecosystem

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Matina C. Kalcounis-Rüppell, Professor (Creator)
Han Li, Post-Doctoral Research Associate (Creator)
Malcolm D. Schug, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Wetland construction can mitigate the biodiversity and water quality losses associated with reduced natural wetland coverage. While beneficial effects of wetland construction for bats have been observed in natural and rural settings, the effects of wetland construction on bats in an urban ecosystem are less understood. We used passive acoustic monitoring to measure bat activity levels and diversity at two constructed wetlands and two control sites on the University of North Carolina Greensboro campus, in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. We monitored all 4 sites before and after wetland construction. Pre-wetland construction, there were few differences in bat activity and community structure at our sites. After wetland construction, we observed greater activity, attributable to all species we recorded, at wetland sites compared to control sites. Species diversity and species richness were also higher at wetland sites compared to control sites. When comparing the same sites before and after wetland construction, both bat activity and species richness increased after construction, but the effects were seen in Winter and not Spring. Our results demonstrate that bats use constructed wetlands in urban ecosystems similarly to other habitat settings. Increases in bat activity, diversity, and species richness occurred within one year of wetland construction.

Additional Information

Wetlands, DOI: 10.1007/s13157-018-1115-5
Language: English
Date: 2018
Chiroptera, Conservation, Management, Fresh water, Piedmont, Bioindicators, Eptesicus fuscus, Winter, Spring

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