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EFFECTS OF LAND-USE CHANGE ON FUNCTIONAL AND TAXONOMIC DIVERSITY OF NEOTROPICAL BATS
Human land-use changes are particularly extensive in tropical regions, representing one of the greatest threats to terrestrial biodiversity and a key research topic in conservation. However, studies considering the effects of different types of anthropogenic disturbance on the functional dimension of biodiversity in human-modified landscapes are rare. Here, we obtained data through an extensive review of peer-reviewed articles and compared 30 Neotropical bat assemblages in well-preserved primary forest and four different human-disturbed habitats in terms of their functional and taxonomic diversity. We found that disturbed habitats that are structurally less similar to primary forest patches (pasture, cropland, and early-stage secondary forest) were characterized by a lower functional and taxonomic α diversity, as well as community level-functional uniqueness. These habitats generally retained fewer species that perform different ecological functions compared to higher-quality landscape matrices, such as agroforestry. According to functional trait composition, different bat ensembles respond differently to landscape change, negatively affecting mainly gleaning insectivorous bats in pasture, narrow-range species in cropland, and heavier animalivorous bats in secondary forest. Although our results highlight the importance of higher-quality matrix habitats to support elevated functional and taxonomic bat diversity, the conservation of bat species that perform different ecological functions in the mosaic of human-modified habitats also depends on the irreplaceable conservation value of well-preserved primary forests. Our study based on a pooled analysis of individual studies provides novel insights into the effects of different human-modified habitats on Neotropical bat assemblages.
Chiroptera, conservation biology, countryside ecosystems, functional traits, habitat loss, land-use change, matrix quality, wildlife-friendly farming
Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES); Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq); Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Grant/Award Number: PTDC/BIA-BIC/111184/2009.
Fábio Z. Farneda, Carlos E. V. Grelle, Christoph Meyer