Use of modified water sources by bats in a managed pine landscape

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Matina C. Kalcounis-Rüppell, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: In eastern North Carolina, USA, intensively managed pine (Pinus spp.) forests, a primary forest type in the Southeastern United States, often are established where water levels are maintained via ditching. In these landscapes, water occurs in numerous linear ditches and several small ponds (heliponds), used by helicopters for the suppression of forest fires. Changes to the physical structure of water sources may be important to bats that use these sources for drinking and foraging. Therefore, we examined bat activity in a managed pine landscape and an adjacent natural wetland in relation to water source type (heliponds, ditches, and natural wetland) and insect abundance. We sampled bat activity using remote acoustic detectors; we sampled insects using passive traps. Insect abundance did not differ among water source types. Bat activity was most concentrated at modified water sources within the managed pine landscape (heliponds and ditches). Feeding activity was highest at heliponds. Heliponds and ditches were important sources of open water and insect prey for bats in the managed pine forest landscape. We suggest management for bats in similar forest landscapes should include maintenance of open and accessible water sources such as heliponds.

Additional Information

Forest Ecology and Management 258 (9): 2056-2061
Language: English
Date: 2009
Bat activity, Chiroptera, Managed pine forest, Insects, Water, Wetlands

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