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Pronounced Seasonal Changes in the Movement Ecology of a Highly Gregarious Central-Place Forager, the African Straw-Coloured Fruit Bat (Eidolon helvum)

Pronounced Seasonal Changes in the Movement Ecology of a Highly Gregarious Central-Place Forager, the African Straw-Coloured Fruit Bat (Eidolon helvum)

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FAHR, Jakob, Michael ABEDI-LARTEY, Thomas ESCH, Miriam MACHWITZ, Richard SUU-IRE, Martin WIKELSKI, Dina K. N. DECHMANN, 2015. Pronounced Seasonal Changes in the Movement Ecology of a Highly Gregarious Central-Place Forager, the African Straw-Coloured Fruit Bat (Eidolon helvum). In: PLoS ONE. 10(10), e0138985. eISSN 1932-6203

@article{Fahr2015Prono-33328, title={Pronounced Seasonal Changes in the Movement Ecology of a Highly Gregarious Central-Place Forager, the African Straw-Coloured Fruit Bat (Eidolon helvum)}, year={2015}, doi={10.1371/journal.pone.0138985}, number={10}, volume={10}, journal={PLoS ONE}, author={Fahr, Jakob and Abedi-Lartey, Michael and Esch, Thomas and Machwitz, Miriam and Suu-Ire, Richard and Wikelski, Martin and Dechmann, Dina K. N.}, note={Article Number: e0138985} }

Suu-Ire, Richard Esch, Thomas Dechmann, Dina K. N. Pronounced Seasonal Changes in the Movement Ecology of a Highly Gregarious Central-Place Forager, the African Straw-Coloured Fruit Bat (Eidolon helvum) eng Abedi-Lartey, Michael Fahr, Jakob Dechmann, Dina K. N. Machwitz, Miriam Background<br />Straw-coloured fruit bats (Eidolon helvum) migrate over vast distances across the African continent, probably following seasonal bursts of resource availability. This causes enormous fluctuations in population size, which in turn may influence the bats' impact on local ecosystems. We studied the movement ecology of this central-place forager with state-of-the-art GPS/acceleration loggers and concurrently monitored the seasonal fluctuation of the colony in Accra, Ghana. Habitat use on the landscape scale was assessed with remote sensing data as well as ground-truthing of foraging areas.<br /><br />Principal Findings<br />During the wet season population low (similar to 4000 individuals), bats foraged locally (3.5-36.7 km) in urban areas with low tree cover. Major food sources during this period were fruits of introduced trees. Foraging distances almost tripled (24.1-87.9 km) during the dry season population peak (similar to 150,000 individuals), but this was not compensated for by reduced resting periods. Dry season foraging areas were random with regard to urban footprint and tree cover, and food consisted almost exclusively of nectar and pollen of native trees.<br /><br />Conclusions and Significance<br />Our study suggests that straw-coloured fruit bats disperse seeds in the range of hundreds of meters up to dozens of kilometres, and pollinate trees for up to 88 km. Straw-coloured fruit bats forage over much larger distances compared to most other Old World fruit bats, thus providing vital ecosystem services across extensive landscapes. We recommend increased efforts aimed at maintaining E. helvum populations throughout Africa since their keystone role in various ecosystems is likely to increase due to the escalating loss of other seed dispersers as well as continued urbanization and habitat fragmentation. Wikelski, Martin 2015 2016-03-15T15:10:38Z Fahr, Jakob Wikelski, Martin 2016-03-15T15:10:38Z Abedi-Lartey, Michael Suu-Ire, Richard Esch, Thomas Machwitz, Miriam

Dateiabrufe seit 15.03.2016 (Informationen über die Zugriffsstatistik)

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