An inordinate fondness for beetles? Variation in seasonal dietary preferences of nightâ€roosting big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus)
- Permanent Link:
- An inordinate fondness for beetles? Variation in seasonal dietary preferences of nightâ€roosting big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus)
- Series Title:
- Molecular Ecology
- Clare, Elizabeth L.
Symondson, William O. C.
Brockett Fenton, Melville
- Publication Date:
- Subjects / Keywords:
- Insectivores ( local )
Molecular Diet Analysis ( local )
Species' Interactions ( local )
- serial ( sobekcm )
- Generalist species with numerous food web interactions are thought to provide stability to ecosystem dynamics; however, it is not always clear whether habitat generality translates into dietary diversity. Big brown bats are common across North America and employ a flexible foraging strategy over water, dense forests, forest edges and rural and urban settings. Despite this generalist use of habitat, they are paradoxically characterized as beetle specialists. However, hard carapaces may preferentially survive digestion leading to overâ€representation during morphological analysis of diet. This specialization has not been evaluated independently using molecular analysis and speciesâ€level identification of prey. We used nextâ€generation sequencing to assess the diet of big brown bats. Beetles were consumed in the highest frequency but Lepidoptera species richness was highest among identified prey. The consumption of species showed strong seasonal and annual variation. While Coleoptera consumption varied, Lepidoptera and Ephemeroptera were relatively constant dietary components. Dietary diversity increased in late summer when insect diversity decreases. Our results indicate that big brown bats are dietary generalists and, while beetles are an important component of the diet, Lepidoptera are equally important, and Lepidoptera and Ephemeroptera are the only stable prey resource exploited. As resources become limited, big brown bats may respond by increasing the species richness of prey and thus their connectedness in the ecosystem. This characterization of diet corresponds well with a generalist approach to foraging, making them an important species in encouraging and maintaining ecosystem stability.
- Original Version:
- Molecular Ecology, Vol. 23, no. 15 (2013-09-12).
- 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.
No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.
Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.
Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.
Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.
Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.