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Winter Habitat Selection by North Temperate Cave Bats

Richard L. Raesly and J. Edward Gates
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 118, No. 1 (Jul., 1987), pp. 15-31
Published by: University of Notre Dame
DOI: 10.2307/2425624
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2425624
Page Count: 17
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Winter Habitat Selection by North Temperate Cave Bats
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Abstract

Discriminant function analysis was used to quantify both microhabitat (within-cave) and macrohabitat (among-cave) locations selected by five species of cave-dwelling bats in the limestone caves and mines of Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Microhabitat parameters reflected microclimate, physical structure and behavioral interactions at the roosting site. Macrohabitat parameters described cave macroclimate, structure, size and external habitat features. Three discriminant functions accounting for more than 95% of the variance were derived in the microhabitat analysis. Function I was correlated with microclimate and the tendency to cluster, function II with the exposure of the site, and function III with the draftiness of the location. There was a large degree of overlap along many of the univariate parameters, particularly temperature. Multivariate classification of the five species was 63.5% correct. Parameters that were important on a macrohabitat scale differed among species. Zones of suitable microhabitat available within a cave or mine were important factors, but presence or absence of a species at a cave or mine could not be accounted for solely by differences at this level. Cave size is shown to be important to several species in this guild. Correct multivariate classifications varied by species from 82.0 to 96.0%.

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