Skip to Main Content
Remnant trees increase bat activity and facilitate the use of vineyards by edge-space batsAuthor(s): Anne Y. Polyakov; Theodore J. Weller; William D. Tietje
Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 281: 56-63
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
View PDF (1.0 MB)
DescriptionConversion of natural habitats to vineyard monoculture is rapidly increasing both globally and on the California central coast. Although agricultural expansion typically decreases species diversity and abundance, landscape heterogeneity can maintain biodiversity, ecosystem function, and provide pest control services within agricultural systems. Large remnant oak trees are sometimes retained within vineyards, yet little is known about their value to biodiversity or the beneficial services to grape growers. While insectivorous bats (order: Chiroptera) are natural predators of agricultural pests and commonly utilize trees for foraging and roosting, no study has quantified the influence of remnant trees within vineyards on bat abundance and diversity. During 2014 and 2015, we recorded bat activity and species richness as well as insect abundance at isolated remnant trees and paired open areas within 14 vineyards in coastal central California. We used generalized linear mixed models to assess the influence of remnant trees on total and species-specific bat activity and insect abundance, and how these effects were influenced by individual tree and landscape-scale characteristics. We recorded 11,465 bat passes representing 11 bat species. Overall, bat activity rates were 1.5 times greater at trees compared to open areas. Activity levels of low-frequency echolocators adapted to open habitats did not differ between trees and open areas; however, activity levels of high frequency echolocators adapted to edge habitats were 2.4 times higher at trees than open areas. Bat activity at trees increased with larger tree size, closer neighboring remnant trees, and lower remnant tree density in the surrounding landscape. Our study indicates that remnant trees within vineyards provide important habitat value for bats at the landscape-scale by allowing edge-space adapted bat species access to vineyards. Retention of individual large trees can help to maintain biodiversity and ecological function in vineyard landscapes, a benefit for both conservation and agricultural production.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationPolyakov, Anne Y.; Weller, Theodore J.; Tietje, William D. 2019. Remnant trees increase bat activity and facilitate the use of vineyards by edge-space bats. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 281: 56-63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2019.05.008.
KeywordsAgroecology, Biodiversity, California, Chiroptera, Echolocation, Ecosystem services, Oak woodland
- Bat activity at remnant oak trees in California Central Coast vineyards
- Habitat use by bats in two Indiana forests prior to silvicultural treatments for oak regeneration
- A review of fire effects on bats and bat habitat in the eastern oak region
XML: View XML