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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 4, 2015

Tree selection by roosting bats in a European temperate lowland sub-Atlantic forest

Laurent Tillon, Katia Bresso and Stéphane Aulagnier
From the journal Mammalia

Abstract

Trees are the main roosts for several European bat species but forestry practices are most often detrimental for them. After checking for the presence or absence of bats in trees, we collected a number of variables to describe trees within a lowland sub-Atlantic oak-dominated forest. We modelled the usage of the trees by bats according to the main characteristics of trees (11 quantitative and 13 qualitative variables) with a logistical regression analysis. Our results show that the number of cavities in the tree is the main variable that induces the occupancy by bats. There is a “typical” lowland tree preferred by bats which is a healthy oak tree of large diameter. We finally provide some guidance for woodland managers to maintain bat roosts, including maintaining some trees of large diameter, protecting small areas of old trees with cavities).

Acknowledgments

We thank the Direction Régionale de l’Environnement d’Ile-de-France and the Agence de l’Eau Seine-Normandie for their financial support, especially MM. Siblet and Marchand, and the staff of the Office National des Forêts for their contributions to the field work, including Jean-Luc Témoin, Franck Krasnopolski, Stéphanie Peyrelade, Elizabeth Royer and Michel Bonafonte. Comments from Jacques Bardat and Jacques Trouvilliez, and also Michel Barataud, Laurent Arthur, Francois Moutou and Philippe Pénicaud, were helpful for structuring our study, we therefore thank them. Finally we warmly thank Bruno de Groulard, Cécile Pedot and Bernard Cauchetier for their support, and one referee for his suggestions to improve the manuscript.

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Received: 2014-7-7
Accepted: 2015-2-24
Published Online: 2015-6-4
Published in Print: 2016-5-1

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