Energy availability influences microclimate selection of hibernating bats
- Permanent Link:
- Energy availability influences microclimate selection of hibernating bats
- Series Title:
- Journal of Experimental Biology
- Boyles, Justin G.
Dunbar, Miranda B.
Storm, Jonathan J.
Brack, Virgil Jr.
- Publication Date:
- Subjects / Keywords:
- Eptesicus Fuscus ( local )
Fat Storing ( local )
Hibernation ( local )
Metabolic Depression ( local )
Myotis Lucifugus ( local )
Respirometry ( local )
Thermal Preference ( local )
- serial ( sobekcm )
- Many species hibernate to conserve energy during periods of low food and water availability. It has long been assumed that the optimal hibernation strategy involves long, deep bouts of torpor that minimize energy expenditure. However, hibernation has ecological (e.g. decreased predator avoidance) and physiological (e.g. sleep deprivation) costs that must be balanced with energy savings; therefore, individuals possessing sufficient energy reserves may reduce their use of deep torpor. We tested the hypothesis that energy (fat) availability influences temperature selection of two fat-storing bat species during hibernation. We predicted that individuals with small energy reserves would select colder temperatures for hibernation in order to minimize energy expenditure, while individuals with larger energy reserves would choose warmer temperatures to minimize the costs of hibernation. Results from our field experiment indicate that little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) hibernating in warm microclimates were significantly heavier than individuals hibernating in cooler microclimates. To determine if energy availability was mediating this relationship, we limited fatty acid availability with mercaptoacetate (MA) and quantified its effect on torpid metabolic rate (TMR) and thermal preference of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus). Administration of MA caused a 43% drop in TMR at 10°C and caused bats to choose significantly colder temperatures for hibernation. Our results suggest that fat-storing bats minimize torpor expression using both physiological and behavioral mechanisms.
- Original Version:
- Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 210 (2007-01-01).
- Source Institution:
- University of South Florida Library
- Holding Location:
- University of South Florida
- Rights Management:
- This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.
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