Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Bats in a fragmented world
Author: Souto Martins Teixeira, Tiago
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 919X
Awarding Body: Queen Mary University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Habitat loss and fragmentation are global threats to biodiversity, however, their impact on ecological function are not well understood. The Atlantic Forest hosts high levels of biodiversity and has experienced a long history of deforestation and fragmentation. To examine the consequences of fragmentation for functional and phylogenetic diversity, and for key ecological interactions, I studied bat metacommunity across this landscape. I conducted repeated surveys of bats in forest fragments and continuous forest sites at the Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçú. To characterize metacommunity structure and the drivers of species assembly, I combined an "elements of metacommunity structure" analysis with assessments of phylogenetic and functional diversity. I then applied a community occupancy model to evaluate the speciesspecific responses to habitat fragmentation and test whether landscape configuration or habitat structure predicted species occurrence. Finally, by using DNA barcoding to identify plant species recovered in the guano of bats, I reconstructed mutualistic batplant networks and determined how network architecture changed with fragmentation. My results revealed that while the bat metacommunity had a random structure, the meta-ensembles of phyllostomid and animalivorous bats showed nested and quasinested metacommunity structures, respectively. Species assembly was driven by stochastic processes in fragments, and by environmental filters in the continuous forest. Species occurrence showed a positive relationship with area, but the community occupancy models were not precise enough to differentiate responses to isolation and habitat structure. The structure of bat-plant networks was maintained in small fragments due to the persistence of generalists that perform seed dispersal. Although fragmentation of the Atlantic Forest has severe impacts on bat communities, this biome harbours a rich bat fauna at the metacommunity level. Small fragments may not support diverse bat faunas, but those surviving species still act as agents of seed dispersal and can contribute to forest regeneration and restoration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biological and Chemical Sciences ; Habitat loss ; Fragmentation ; bat metacommunities ; phyllostomid bats