Document type: DU ETD
Collection: Geology Theses  
Title AN ANALYSIS OF BAT ACTIVITY PATTERNS Along a Prairie Riparian Corridor in Eastern Montana at Multiple Spatial Scales
Author(s) Stewart, Joanne E.
School/Department Department of Geography
Institution University of Denver
Degree Type Master's
Degree Name M.A.
Type of Resource text
Degree Date 2007 November
Digital Origin reformatted digital
Rights Statement All Rights Reserved
Reason for Restrictions No restrictions
Type of Restriction No restrictions
Keyword(s) Geography
Genre Dissertations, Academic
Abstract Few studies have been devoted to the ecology of bats inhabiting prairie landscapes. Existing studies have indicated the importance of riparian corridors as foraging habitat for prairie bats, but resource partitioning and the landscape factors influencing patterns of riparian habitat use are relatively unknown. This research investigates the relationship between bat spatial activity patterns along the Missouri River in eastern Montana and landscape characteristics using cover type classification and remote sensing analysis at three spatial scales: local (50 m), regional (2 Ian), and landscape (15 Ian). Twelve bat species were detected in the study' area, including a considerable expansion of the known range for the spotted bat (Euderma maculatum). Riparian forest edge habitat accounted for the highest bat activity. However, the EPFU/LANO/LACI phonic group exhibited a strong bias towards all riparian forest habitats. Remote sensing analysis revealed that landscape characteristics at the 2 Ian spatial scale were the strongest predictors of bat activity. A heterogeneous landscape was the best predictor of bat activity for the 40 kHz phonic group. However, a consistent positive correlation was found between activity for the EPFU/LANO/LACI phonic group and percent of forested land cover. This research suggests that riparian cottonwood forest, especially the ecotone between riparian forest and open vegetation, provides important habitat for bats in eastern Montana and might be a limiting factor to bat distributions and abundance on prairie landscapes. Furthermore, the surrounding landscape matrix should be a consideration when managing prairie riparian zones for bat communities and prioritizing areas for conservation.
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