Second-growth and small forest clearings have little effect on the temporal activity patterns of Amazonian phyllostomid bats

Ricardo Rocha, Adrià López-Baucells, Fábio Z Farneda, Diogo F Ferreira, Inês Silva, Marta Acácio, Jorge M Palmeirim, Christoph F J Meyer

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Secondary forests and human-made forest gaps are conspicuous features of tropical landscapes. Yet, behavioral responses to these aspects of anthropogenically modified forests remain poorly investigated. Here, we analyze the effects of small human-made clearings and secondary forests on tropical bats by examining the guild- and species-level activity patterns of phyllostomids sampled in the Central Amazon, Brazil. Specifically, we contrast the temporal activity patterns and degree of temporal overlap of 6 frugivorous and 4 gleaning animalivorous species in old-growth forest and second-growth forest and of 4 frugivores in old-growth forest and forest clearings. The activity patterns of frugivores and gleaning animalivores did not change between old-growth forest and second-growth, nor did the activity patterns of frugivores between old-growth forest and clearings. However, at the species level, we detected significant differences for Artibeus obscurus (old-growth forest vs. second-growth) and A. concolor (old-growth forest vs. clearings). The degree of temporal overlap was greater than random in all sampled habitats. However, for frugivorous species, the degree of temporal overlap was similar between old-growth forest and second-growth; whereas for gleaning animalivores, it was lower in second-growth than in old-growth forest. On the contrary, forest clearings were characterized by increased temporal overlap between frugivores. Changes in activity patterns and temporal overlap may result from differential foraging opportunities and dissimilar predation risks. Yet, our analyses suggest that activity patterns of bats in second-growth and small forest clearings, 2 of the most prominent habitats in humanized tropical landscapes, varies little from the activity patterns in old-growth forest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Zoology
Issue number2
Early online date5 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

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