Carpe noctem: the importance of bats as bioindicators

Citation

Material Information

Title:
Carpe noctem: the importance of bats as bioindicators
Series Title:
Endangered Species Research
Creator:
Jones, Gareth
Jacobs, David S.
Kunz, Thomas H.
Willig, Michael R.
Racey, Paul A.
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Chiroptera ( local )
Indicator Species ( local )
Environmental Stressors ( local )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Notes

Abstract:
The earth is now subject to climate change and habitat deterioration on unprecedented scales. Monitoring climate change and habitat loss alone is insufficient if we are to understand the effects of these factors on complex biological communities. It is therefore important to identify bioindicator taxa that show measurable responses to climate change and habitat loss and that reflect wider-scale impacts on the biota of interest. We argue that bats have enormous potential as bioindicators: they show taxonomic stability, trends in their populations can be monitored, short- and long-term effects on populations can be measured and they are distributed widely around the globe. Because insectivorous bats occupy high trophic levels, they are sensitive to accumulations of pesticides and other toxins, and changes in their abundance may reflect changes in populations of arthropod prey species. Bats provide several ecosystem services, and hence reflect the status of the plant populations on which they feed and pollinate as well as the productivity of insect communities. Bat populations are affected by a wide range of stressors that affect many other taxa. In particular, changes in bat numbers or activity can be related to climate change (including extremes of drought, heat, cold and precipitation, cyclones and sea level rise), deterioration of water quality, agricultural intensification, loss and fragmentation of forests, fatalities at wind turbines, disease, pesticide use and overhunting. There is an urgent need to implement a global network for monitoring bat populations so their role as bioindicators can be used to its full potential.
Original Version:
Endangered Species Research, Vol. 8 (2009-07-09).

Record Information

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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University of South Florida
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serial

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