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Etude d'une colonie de mise bas de Myotis bechsteinii Kuhl, 1817 - Sélection des gîtes et des habitats de chasse, régime alimentaire et implications dans la gestion de l'habitat forestier [Study of a breeding colony of Myotis bechsteinii Kuhl, 1817 - selection of sites and foraging habitats, diet and implications for forest management]

Barataud, M., Grandemange, F., Duranel, A. and Lugon, A. (2009) Etude d'une colonie de mise bas de Myotis bechsteinii Kuhl, 1817 - Sélection des gîtes et des habitats de chasse, régime alimentaire et implications dans la gestion de l'habitat forestier [Study of a breeding colony of Myotis bechsteinii Kuhl, 1817 - selection of sites and foraging habitats, diet and implications for forest management]. Le Rhinolophe, 18. pp. 83-112. ISSN 1011-8098

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Abstract/Summary

In Europe, the Bechstein's bat Myotis bechsteinii is a rare species of large old-growth deciduous woodlands. The only colony recorded in Limousin - in the north-west of the Massif Central, France - is however located in a mixed landscape where woodlands are young and very fragmented. In spite of this a priori unsuitable environment, close monitoring of the colony has shown an increase of its size by 110% from 2000 to 2005. In an attempt to explain this apparent contradiction, habitat and prey selection were studied between May and August 2004. Ten bats were radio-tracked, and faeces analysed to investigate the diet of the colony. The results confirm the association of the Bechstein's bat with woodlands, and show a positive selection of gaps created by the 1999 storm. These gaps have well-developed shrub and herbaceous layers with high insect abundance and diversity. The abundance of dead wood benefits saproxylic insects, which are abundant in the bats diet. These characteristics are similar to those of natural, old-growth woodlands [long dash] except for long-term stability since conditions are only temporarily favourable in this case. Habitat requirements of the Bechstein's bat are discussed in light of population trends and the evolution of woodlands in Europe.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:74278

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