Global patterns of functional trait variation along aridity gradients in bats

Show simple item record Conenna, Irene Santini, Luca Rocha, Ricardo Monadjem, Ara Cabeza, Mar Russo, Danilo 2021-08-10T15:09:16Z 2021-08-10T15:09:16Z 2021-05
dc.description.abstract AIM : Our understanding of the biological strategies employed by species to cope with challenges posed by aridity is still limited. Despite being sensitive to water loss, bats successfully inhabit a wide range of arid lands. We here investigated how functional traits of bat assemblages vary along the global aridity gradient to identify traits that favour their persistence in arid environments. LOCATION : Global. TIME PERIOD : Contemporary. MAJOR TAXA STUDIED : Bats. METHODS : We mapped the assemblage-level averages of four key bat traits describing wing morphology, echolocation and body size, based on a grid of 100-km resolution and a pool of 915 bat species, and modelled them against aridity values. To support our results, we conducted analyses also at the species level to control for phylogenetic autocorrelation. RESULTS: At the assemblage level, we detected a rise in values of aspect ratio, wing loading and forearm length, and a decrease in echolocation frequency with increasing aridity. These patterns were consistent with trends detected at the species level for all traits. MAIN CONCLUSIONS : Our findings show that trait variation in bats is associated with the aridity gradient and suggest that greater mobility and larger body size are advantageous features in arid environments. Greater mobility favours bats’ ability to track patchy and temporary resources, while the reduced surface-to-volume ratio associated with a larger body size is likely to reduce water stress by limiting cutaneous evaporation. These findings highlight the importance of extending attention from species-specific adaptations to broad scale and multispecies variation in traits when investigating the ability of species to withstand arid conditions. en_ZA
dc.description.department Mammal Research Institute en_ZA
dc.description.department Zoology and Entomology en_ZA
dc.description.librarian hj2021 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship Ella ja Georg Ehrnroothin Säätiö; ARDITI – Madeira’s Regional Agency for the Development of Research, Technology and Innovation and Nordenskiöld-samfundet en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Conenna I, Santini L, Rocha R, Monadjem A, Cabeza M, Russo D. Global patterns of functional trait variation along aridity gradients in bats. Global Ecology and Biogeography 2021;30:1014–1029. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1466-822X (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1466-8238 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1111/geb.13278
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Wiley en_ZA
dc.rights © 2021 The Authors. Global Ecology and Biogeography published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.subject Aridity gradient en_ZA
dc.subject Assemblage level en_ZA
dc.subject Bats en_ZA
dc.subject Body size en_ZA
dc.subject Echolocation en_ZA
dc.subject Functional trait variation en_ZA
dc.subject Global patterns en_ZA
dc.subject Wing morphology en_ZA
dc.title Global patterns of functional trait variation along aridity gradients in bats en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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