Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Conserving Connecticut's Natural History: Bat Communities and Habitat Use Post-White-Nose Syndrome
by Wisniewski, Christopher D., M.S., Southern Connecticut State University, 2018, 52; 10807785
Abstract (Summary)

Community ecology investigates questions related to the density, growth/decline and movements of species over time in given geographical regions. This study investigated similar questions regarding communities of endemic bat species in Connecticut. White-nose syndrome (WNS) has recently killed millions of bats in New England, yet few large-scale conservation efforts have occurred in Connecticut and few data have been published on the status of Connecticut bats post-WNS. This study aimed to: 1) survey bats persisting in WNS regions to document whether changes have occurred in species biodiversity, richness, distribution and habitat use; and 2) measure seasonality effects from summer through pre-hibernal months. Bat presence and activity were recorded using bat detectors set in grassland and forested habitats, near bodies of water and near anthropormorphic and geologic structures across Connecticut. Bioacoustics data have been analyzed by using Sonobat© software. Combined, these data show that bat activity varies significantly across habitat type (p = 0.02) and over seasons (p = 0.05). Additionally, these data provide insight regarding relationships between individual species, and clumped species groups, with habitat types and across seasons. Ultimately, these data show how bat communities have changed over time in a post-WNS environment. Combined, these data can help drive future wildlife conservation, outreach, education and management practices.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dunbar, Miranda B.
Commitee: Brady, Steven P., Weinbaum, Jonathan C.
School: Southern Connecticut State University
Department: Biology
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Biology, Ecology, Zoology
Keywords: Bat, Bioacoustics, Community ecology, Connecticut, White-nose syndrome
Publication Number: 10807785
ISBN: 978-0-355-86943-9
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