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Species richness, abundance and functional diversity of a bat community along an elevational gradient in the Espinhaco mountain range, southeastern Brazil

Coelho, EDR; Paglia, AP; Viana-Junior, AB; Dolabela Falcao, LA; Ferreira, GB; (2018) Species richness, abundance and functional diversity of a bat community along an elevational gradient in the Espinhaco mountain range, southeastern Brazil. Acta Chiropterologica , 20 (1) pp. 129-138. 10.3161/15081109ACC2018.20.1.009. Green open access

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Abstract

Bats are an excellent taxonomic group for research on elevational gradients and functional diversity, as they present a large number of species and functional traits. In general, elevation has a negative influence on bat diversity, but the effect is not necessarily linear. Often the effect of elevation on diversity may have a hump-shaped pattern, in which diversity metrics peak in intermediate elevations before decreasing at the highest parts of the elevational gradient. In this study, we investigated the effect of elevation on bat species richness, abundance, and functional diversity in Rio Preto State Park (RPSP), a protected area located in the Espinhaço mountain range, a region globally recognized for its high rates of biodiversity. We found that RPSP harbours 22 bat species, which represent 69% of the species occurring in the Espinhaço range and include species of conservation concern. Bat species richness and abundance was linearly and inversely correlated to elevation, whereas functional diversity had a hump-shaped pattern, with higher values found in the intermediate portion of the elevational gradient. Our findings agree with other studies showing the overall negative effect of elevation on bat diversity and contribute to the still sparse knowledge about the effect of elevation on bats in Brazil and in the Espinhaço range. Furthermore, our results suggest that natural environments in lower and intermediate elevations (< 1,100 m a.s.l.) in this mountain range may have high biodiversity value for bats, and actions aiming at their protection would complement the conservation efforts focusing on endemic species associated with higher habitats in the Espinhaço.

Type: Article
Title: Species richness, abundance and functional diversity of a bat community along an elevational gradient in the Espinhaco mountain range, southeastern Brazil
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3161/15081109ACC2018.20.1.009
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3161/15081109ACC2018.20.1.009
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Chiroptera, Cerrado, environmental gradient, mountain ecosystems
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10073820
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