Effects of selective logging on bat communities in the southeastern Amazon

Conserv Biol. 2006 Oct;20(5):1410-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2006.00526.x.


Although extensive areas of tropical forest are selectively logged each year, the responses of bat communities to this form of disturbance have rarely been examined. Our objectives were to (1) compare bat abundance, species composition, and feeding guild structure between unlogged and low-intensity selectively logged (1-4 logged stems/ha) sampling grids in the southeastern Amazon and (2) examine correlations between logging-induced changes in bat communities and forest structure. We captured bats in understory and canopy mist nets set in five 1-ha study grids in both logged and unlogged forest. We captured 996 individuals, representing 5 families, 32 genera, and 49 species. Abundances of nectarivorous and frugivorous taxa (Glossophaginae, Lonchophyllinae, Stenodermatinae, and Carolliinae) were higher at logged sites, where canopy openness and understory foliage density were greatest. In contrast, insectivorous and omnivorous species (Emballonuridae, Mormoopidae, Phyllostominae, and Vespertilionidae) were more abundant in unlogged sites, where canopy foliage density and variability in the understory stratum were greatest. Multivariate analyses indicated that understory bat species composition differed strongly between logged and unlogged sites but provided little evidence of logging effects for the canopy fauna. Different responses among feeding guilds and taxonomic groups appeared to be related to foraging and echolocation strategies and to changes in canopy cover and understory foliage densities. Our results suggest that even low-intensity logging modifies habitat structure, leading to changes in bat species composition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Chiroptera / physiology*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Ecosystem*
  • Forestry*
  • Population Dynamics
  • Trees