Next Article in Journal
Sedimentary Organic Matter, Prokaryotes, and Meiofauna across a River-Lagoon-Sea Gradient
Previous Article in Journal
Ichthyological Differentiation and Homogenization in the Pánuco Basin, Mexico
Open AccessArticle

Bat Species Richness and Community Composition along a Mega-transect in the Okavango River Basin

1
South African Research Chair on Biodiversity Value & Change and Core Team Member of the Centre for Invasion Biology, University of Venda, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa
2
National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, Wild Bird Trust, Parktown 2193, South Africa
3
Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria, Private Bag x20, Hatfield, Pretoria 0028, South Africa
4
School of Biology and Environmental Sciences, University of Mpumalanga, Private Bag X11283, Nelspruit 1200, South Africa
5
Wildlife and Reserve Management Research Group, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
6
School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(5), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12050188
Received: 22 March 2020 / Revised: 5 May 2020 / Accepted: 7 May 2020 / Published: 11 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity Conservation)
The Okavango River Basin is a hotspot of bat diversity that requires urgent and adequate protection. To advise future conservation strategies, we investigated the relative importance of a range of potential environmental drivers of bat species richness and functional community composition in the Okavango River Basin. During annual canoe transects along the major rivers, originating in the central Angolan highlands, we recorded more than 25,000 bat echolocation calls from 2015 to 2018. We corrected for possible biases in sampling design and effort. Firstly, we conducted rarefaction analyses of each survey year and sampling appeared to be complete, apart from 2016. Secondly, we used total activity as a measure of sample effort in mixed models of species richness. Species richness was highest in the Angola Miombo Woodlands and at lower elevations, with higher minimum temperatures. In total, we identified 31 individual bat species. We show that even when acoustic surveys are conducted in remote areas and over multiple years, it is possible to correct for biases and obtain representative richness estimates. Changes in habitat heterogeneity will have detrimental effects on the high richness reported here and human land-use change, specifically agriculture, must be mediated in a system such as the Angolan Miombo Woodland. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chiroptera; Southern Africa; bioacoustics; nature conservation; bat species distribution Chiroptera; Southern Africa; bioacoustics; nature conservation; bat species distribution
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Weier, S.M.; Keith, M.; Neef, G.G.; Parker, D.M.; Taylor, P.J. Bat Species Richness and Community Composition along a Mega-transect in the Okavango River Basin. Diversity 2020, 12, 188.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop