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Article

Community Ecology and Phylogeography of Bats in the Guianan Savannas of Northern South America

1
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON M5S 2C6, Canada
2
Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX 79699, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2018, 10(4), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/d10040129
Received: 20 September 2018 / Revised: 21 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Conservation of Bats)
The Guiana Shield of South America contains savannas within one of the largest contiguous expanses of pristine tropical rainforest remaining in the world, but biodiversity in the grasslands is poorly known. In lowland Neotropical areas, bats typically comprise the most species-rich group of mammals. We compare the bat faunal community and phylogeography in the savanna habitats of the Llanos in Venezuela, Rupununi in Guyana, and Sipaliwini in Suriname. Measures of species diversity and relative abundance from standardized field survey methodology enable comparison among these three grassland regions. Genetic variation is summarized by DNA barcoding to examine biogeographic patterns across larger forest–savanna landscapes. A total of 76 species of bats is documented, of which 18 species are reported from all 3 savannas and 30 species are reported from only 1 of the savannas. Endemism is low with 5 taxa restricted primarily to dry, open habitats. However, 7 other species have divergent phylogeographic lineages associated with savanna populations. Although bat species are usually distributed over wide regions of the Neotropics, the habitat mosaics of the Guiana Shield have different faunal assemblages. Going back into the Miocene, the contractions and expansions of forest–savanna paleoenvironments over time have contributed to speciation and the current high levels of biodiversity in South America. View Full-Text
Keywords: biogeography; Chiroptera; evolution; Guyana; Llanos; Neotropics; Rupununi; Sipaliwini; Suriname; Venezuela biogeography; Chiroptera; evolution; Guyana; Llanos; Neotropics; Rupununi; Sipaliwini; Suriname; Venezuela
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lim, B.K.; Lee, T.E., Jr. Community Ecology and Phylogeography of Bats in the Guianan Savannas of Northern South America. Diversity 2018, 10, 129. https://doi.org/10.3390/d10040129

AMA Style

Lim BK, Lee TE Jr.. Community Ecology and Phylogeography of Bats in the Guianan Savannas of Northern South America. Diversity. 2018; 10(4):129. https://doi.org/10.3390/d10040129

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lim, Burton K., and Thomas E. Lee Jr. 2018. "Community Ecology and Phylogeography of Bats in the Guianan Savannas of Northern South America" Diversity 10, no. 4: 129. https://doi.org/10.3390/d10040129

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