Male bats respond to adverse conditions with larger colonies and increased torpor use during sperm production

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2020
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Hałat, Zuzanna
Zegarek, Marcin
Ruczyński, Ireneusz
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Mammalian Biology. Springer. 2020, 100(6), pp. 611-620. ISSN 1616-5047. eISSN 1618-1476. Available under: doi: 10.1007/s42991-020-00071-5
Zusammenfassung

Changes in environmental conditions can have strong energetic effects on animals through limited food availability or increased thermoregulatory costs. Especially difficult are periods of increased energy expenditures, such as reproduction. Reproductive female bats from the temperate zone often aggregate in maternity colonies to profit from social thermoregulation to reduce torpor use and buffer the effects of poor conditions. The much rarer male colonies may form for similar reasons during testes development. Male colonies thus allow us to study the influence of environmental conditions on energy budget and colony size, without the confounding effects of parental care. We remotely monitored skin temperature and assessed colony size of male parti-coloured bats Vespertilio murinus during summer, and correlated those variables with environmental conditions and food availability (i.e. insect abundance). As we had hypothesized, we found that colony size increased at colder temperatures, but decreased at low wind speeds. Also as predicted, torpor use was relatively low, however, it did increase slightly during adverse conditions. Male sociality may be an adaptation to adverse environmental conditions during sexual maturation, but the pressure to avoid torpor during spermatogenesis may be lower than in pregnant or lactating females.

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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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ISO 690HAŁAT, Zuzanna, Dina K. N. DECHMANN, Marcin ZEGAREK, Ireneusz RUCZYŃSKI, 2020. Male bats respond to adverse conditions with larger colonies and increased torpor use during sperm production. In: Mammalian Biology. Springer. 2020, 100(6), pp. 611-620. ISSN 1616-5047. eISSN 1618-1476. Available under: doi: 10.1007/s42991-020-00071-5
BibTex
@article{Haat2020-12respo-51918,
  year={2020},
  doi={10.1007/s42991-020-00071-5},
  title={Male bats respond to adverse conditions with larger colonies and increased torpor use during sperm production},
  number={6},
  volume={100},
  issn={1616-5047},
  journal={Mammalian Biology},
  pages={611--620},
  author={Hałat, Zuzanna and Dechmann, Dina K. N. and Zegarek, Marcin and Ruczyński, Ireneusz}
}
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    <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">Changes in environmental conditions can have strong energetic effects on animals through limited food availability or increased thermoregulatory costs. Especially difficult are periods of increased energy expenditures, such as reproduction. Reproductive female bats from the temperate zone often aggregate in maternity colonies to profit from social thermoregulation to reduce torpor use and buffer the effects of poor conditions. The much rarer male colonies may form for similar reasons during testes development. Male colonies thus allow us to study the influence of environmental conditions on energy budget and colony size, without the confounding effects of parental care. We remotely monitored skin temperature and assessed colony size of male parti-coloured bats Vespertilio murinus during summer, and correlated those variables with environmental conditions and food availability (i.e. insect abundance). As we had hypothesized, we found that colony size increased at colder temperatures, but decreased at low wind speeds. Also as predicted, torpor use was relatively low, however, it did increase slightly during adverse conditions. Male sociality may be an adaptation to adverse environmental conditions during sexual maturation, but the pressure to avoid torpor during spermatogenesis may be lower than in pregnant or lactating females.</dcterms:abstract>
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