Continued declines in North American bat populations can be largely attributed to habitat loss, disease, and wind turbines. These declines can be partially mitigated through actions that boost reproductive success; therefore, management aimed at promoting availability of high-quality roosting habitat is an important conservation goal. Following the principles of the umbrella species concept, if co-occurring species share similar roost-tree preferences, then management practices targeting one species may confer conservation benefits to another. We conducted a systematic review of roost-site characteristics of thirteen species inhabiting eastern temperate forests to: (1) synthesize existing knowledge across species; (2) assess niche overlap among co-occurring species; and (3) evaluate the potential for currently protected species to serve as conservation umbrellas. We performed multivariate ordination techniques to group species based on the seven most-reported roost-site characteristics, including tree species, diameter at breast height, tree health, roost type, tree height, canopy closure, and roost height. Species sorted into three roosting guilds: (1) southern wetland inhabitants; (2) foliage specialists; and (3) dead tree generalists. Myotis septentrionalis
and Perimyotis subflavus
had significant roost-niche overlap with five and four other species respectively, and their existing protections make them suitable umbrellas for other bats in the North American eastern temperate forests.
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