Exploring regional variation in roost selection by bats : evidence from a meta-analysis

Authors: Fabianek, FrançoisSimard, Marie-AnoukDesrochers, André
Abstract: Tree diameter, tree height and canopy closure have been described by previous meta-analyses as being important characteristics in roost selection by cavity-roosting bats. However, size and direction of effects for these characteristics varied greatly among studies, also referred to as heterogeneity. Potential sources of heterogeneity have not been investigated in previous meta-analyses, which are explored by correlating additional covariates (moderator variables). We tested whether effect sizes from 34 studies were consistent enough to reject the null hypothesis that trees selected by bats did not significantly differ in their characteristics from randomly selected trees. We also examined whether heterogeneity in tree diameter effect sizes was correlated to moderator variables such as sex, bat species, habitat type, elevation and mean summer temperature.Methods We used Hedges’ g standardized mean difference as the effect size for the most common characteristics that were encountered in the literature. We estimated heterogeneity indices, potential publication bias, and spatial autocorrelation of our meta-data. We relied upon meta-regression and multi-model inference approaches to evaluate the effects of moderator variables on heterogeneity in tree diameter effect sizes. Results Tree diameter, tree height, snag density, elevation, and canopy closure were significant characteristics of roost selection by cavity-roosting bats. Size and direction of effects varied greatly among studies with respect to distance to water, tree density, slope, and bark remaining on trunks. Inclusion of mean summer temperature and sex in meta-regressions further explained heterogeneity in tree diameter effect sizes. Conclusions Regional differences in roost selection for tree diameter were related to mean summer temperature. Large diameter trees play a central role in roost selection by bats, especially in colder regions, where they are likely to provide a warm and stable microclimate for reproductive females. Records of summer temperature fluctuations inside and outside tree cavities that are used by bats should be included in future research.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 29 September 2015
Open Access Date: 4 November 2016
Document version: VoR
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/12048
This document was published in: PloS one, Vol. 10 (9), e0139126 (2015)
Public Library of Science
Alternative version: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139126
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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