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Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 2361–2371 | Cite as

Do wooded streets provide connectivity for bats in an urban landscape?

  • Monik Oprea
  • Poliana Mendes
  • Thiago B. Vieira
  • Albert D. Ditchfield
Original Paper

Abstract

The effects of urbanization on bats are poorly understood, but published data suggests it might be detrimental to them. Even though urban parks provide refuge to native biota, the nature of the urban landscape exacerbates the insularization process. In order to evaluate if wooded streets in an urban landscape provide connectivity for bats, we compared bat community structure in three different types of habitats: urban parks, wooded streets and non-wooded streets. Sampling occurred monthly from August 2006 to July 2007 in the city of Vitória, southeastern Brazil. Richness, relative abundance and diversity were higher in urban parks and lower in non-wooded streets. Jaccard’s similarity index showed that the wooded streets are more similar to non-wooded streets than to urban parks. Urbanization may benefit generalist species by providing new resources, but for specialist species critical resources may be lost and persistence endangered. There is evidence that wooded streets may provide some degree of connectivity for birds in urban landscapes, but our results suggest that this is not the case, with wooded streets being used by few individuals of a few species. Vegetation cover is important to maintain bat diversity in urban centers. Activities like landscape planning and gardening should include biodiversity data in their outputs in order to better design a landscape that improves the likelihood of persistence of bats.

Keywords

Chiroptera Corridors Habitat fragmentation Habitat use Urbanization Urban planning 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank our collegues Vinicius Pimenta, Márcio Almeida, Sílvia Ramira, Ricardo M. Fonseca, Rafael Z. Coutinho, and Geovana Mendes for all the help on the fieldwork. Daniel Brito for reviewing this manuscript prior to submission. Pedro L. Peloso for helping with the map. We also thank Prefeitura Municipal de Vitória and park managers for fieldwork permission. Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis for the research authorization. M. Oprea recieved a scholarship from Bat Conservation International through the Student Research Scholarship.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monik Oprea
    • 1
    • 2
  • Poliana Mendes
    • 1
  • Thiago B. Vieira
    • 1
  • Albert D. Ditchfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological, Laboratory of Chiroptera StudiesFederal University of Espírito SantoVitóriaBrazil
  2. 2.Division of Mammals, MRC 108National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian InstitutionWashingtonUSA

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