Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Biology

Supervisor

M. Brock Fenton

Abstract

The habitats in which bat species may most effectively forage are often determined by species-specific differences in wing morphology and echolocation call structure. Habitat edges are important for bat navigation and foraging, but no study to date has examined the depth of edge influence (DEI--the extent of quantifiable change in activity with distance from an edge) for bats. I predicted that DEI would vary with species-specific differences in wing structure and echolocation call characteristics. Additionally, because different habitats may be required to fulfill species’ foraging and roost requirements, I predicted that bat activity would be highest in areas with a moderate amount of forest cover. I acoustically sampled at eight sites in Ontario a minimum of ten times each between June 2010 and August 2011. Regardless of wing morphology and call structure, bat activity was highest at the edge for all species. The DEI of all species was 40 m into both the edge and forest. These results will be useful for determining proper placement of microphones in future acoustic studies, and may inform effective management decisions.


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