Diversity and resource partitioning in three assemblages of leaf-nosed bats (Phyllostomidae: Chiroptera)
120 pages, year of publication: 2007
price: 40.50 €
Why are there so many species in tropical rainforests? How can so many species coexist at one site? Is there interspecific competition?
Neotropical leaf-nosed bats (Phyllostomidae) form assemblages with higher species richness than any other mammalian family. This book gives an insight into diversity, assemblage structure, interspecific competition and resource partitioning of both food and foraging space in three leaf-nosed bat assemblages with different species richness. First, a validation of species richness estimation methods is presented revealing the most species rich bat assemblage reported in literature. Furthermore, evidence is produced showing that large scale floral patterns
may influence species composition of phyllostomid bat assemblages.
Resource partitioning among species appears to occur evenly throughout the entire assemblage, thus interspecific competition is not restricted to groups such as dietary ensembles (guilds). Vertical stratification of species is studied using stable carbon isotopes and the results indicate that species share foraging space evenly along the vertical axis of the forest. Dietary analyses based on fecal samples and
nitrogen isotopes indicate that leaf-nosed bats are opportunistic omnivores, able to adjust their diet to local and seasonal differences in food availability. This dietary flexibility is likely to be a key factor in maintaining the extraordinarily high local diversity in phyllostomid bat assemblages.