Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Biology

Supervisor

Brock Fenton

Abstract

Ensembles of species show distinct characteristics that may permit resource partitioning but few studies focus on more than one or two traits. Using seven sympatric Jamaican bats, I examined features which could allow for spatial, temporal, behavioural and dietary partitioning including wing morphology, echolocation characteristics, flight behaviour, habitat use, and diet. Using acoustic arrays I compared activity patterns at different sites to determine temporal and spatial partitioning and generated flight paths to determine flight speeds. From captured bats I measured wing morphology to examine morphological differences and did genetic analysis of guano to determine dietary partitioning. Morphology, call structure and flight speeds suggested division into cluttered, edge and open foraging habitats. Species sharing habitats partitioned them in time. I found little dietary overlap among species or between seasons. In summary, the ensemble exhibited partitioning in all five dimensions I examined, suggesting multi-dimensional features may aid in ensemble resource division.


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