Effects of Artificial Roosts for Frugivorous Bats on Seed Dispersal in a Neotropical Forest Pasture Mosaic
This article evaluates whether the installation of bat roosts into abandoned pasture sites can attract frigivorous bats into pasture areas and encourage seed rain of early-successional plant species.
Research Goals & Methods
At the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica, the authors set up bat roosts simulating hollow tree trunks in areas of continuous forest and disturbed areas (small forest fragments (< 3 ha) or tree stands in pasture at various distances from forest). All roosts were placed in shade to avoid excessive heat. Authors captured bats and collected feces to evaluate the diversity of bats and their food resources between habitats.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The authors found that bat roosts in the disturbed areas were colonized by frugivorous and nectarivorous bats and augmented the seed rain. The seed rain was higher near the artificial roosts than at control sites, and many of the seeds belonged to early-successional plant species. Ten species showed comparable levels of colonization in the artificial roosts compared with natural roosts. Sixty-nine seed species were transported to artificial roosts in the disturbed habitats. The authors assert that the use of artificial bat roosts can improve the dispersal of seeds into disturbed areas in need of forest restoration.
Effects of Artificial Roosts for Frugivorous Bats on Seed Dispersal in a Neotropical Forest Pasture Mosaic. Conservation Biology. 2008;22:733–741. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.00925.x..
- Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Evolutionary Ecology Research Group, Berlin, Germany
- University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Zoology 2, Erlangen, Germany