Guild vertical stratification and drivers of bat foraging in a semi-arid tropical region, Kenya

  • Articles in SCI Journals
  • Aug, 2023

Rainho, A., Ferreira, D.F., Makori, B., Bartonjo, M., Repas-Gonçalves, M., Kirakou, S., Maghuwa, F., Webala, P.W. & Tomé, R. (2023) Guild vertical stratification and drivers of bat foraging in a semi-arid tropical region, Kenya.

Biology-Basel, 12(8), 1116. DOI:10.3390/biology12081116 (IF2022 4,2; Q1 Biology)
Summary:

Africa faces significant challenges in reconciling economic and social development while preserving its natural resources. Little is known about the diverse bat community on the continent, particularly in drier ecosystems. A better understanding of the bat community will help improve and inform the management of these ecosystems. Our study aimed to provide detailed information on the main drivers of bat richness and activity at three different heights above the ground in a semi-arid region of Kenya. We assessed how bat activity varied with space and height using acoustic sampling and complementary methods. We sampled 48 sites at ground level and two sites on meteorological masts at 20 m and 35 m above the ground. We recorded more than 20 bat species, including one species of concern for conservation. Our models showed that the use of space varies with bat guild, creating trade-offs in the variables that affect their activity. Low-flying bat species are mostly associated with habitat variables, whereas high-flying species are more dependent on weather conditions. Our study highlights the richness of bat assemblages in semi-arid environments and emphasizes the need for management measures to protect bat diversity in the face of habitat degradation caused by climate change, land management, and development projects.


https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12081116

Team

  • Guild vertical stratification and drivers of bat foraging in a semi-arid tropical region, Kenya Ana Rainho Tropical and Mediterranean Biodiversity - TMB