M.S Thesis Defense: Chris Todd - Event Details
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M.S Thesis Defense: Chris Todd
Location: Wentworth 14
Title: Effects of prey abundance on seasonal movements of the Hawaiian Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus)
This study investigated how biotic and abiotic factors affect seasonal altitudinal movements of Hawaiian hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) in eastern Hawaiʻi. I used an information-theoretic approach to evaluate if bat activity was associated with aerial insect abundance, temperature, rainfall, or reproductive season. Available insect taxa decreased with elevation, with Lepidoptera most abundant at middle and high elevations. Lepidoptera was consumed significantly more than any other insect taxa at low elevations (P < 0.03), and Coleoptera significantly more at middle elevations (P < 0.02). Insect taxa found in the diet of bats was proportional to their availability at low elevations (P = 0.9) and disproportional (favoring Coleoptera) to their availability at middle elevations (P < 0.001), suggesting that bats opportunistically forage at low elevations and selectively forage at middle elevations. Models indicate that temperature, rainfall, insect abundance and reproductive season are important for bat abundance at all sites (P = 0.05). Abundance of Diptera best predicted bat activity at low elevations (P = 0.02) and abundance of Hemiptera best predicted bat activity at middle elevations, but this was only marginally significant (P = 0.08). No significant correlation between insect taxa and bat activity was found at high elevations.
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