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Systematic Review of the Roost-Site Characteristics of North American Forest Bats: Implications for Conservation

1
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
2
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD 21037, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12020076
Received: 30 January 2020 / Revised: 13 February 2020 / Accepted: 14 February 2020 / Published: 18 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Pressure on Bat Populations)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: bats; forests; conservation; review; roost; habitat; umbrella species bats; forests; conservation; review; roost; habitat; umbrella species
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MDPI and ACS Style

Drake, E.C.; Gignoux-Wolfsohn, S.; Maslo, B. Systematic Review of the Roost-Site Characteristics of North American Forest Bats: Implications for Conservation. Diversity 2020, 12, 76.

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