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Habitat Structure, Wing Morphology, and the Vertical Stratification of Malaysian Fruit Bats (Megachiroptera: Pteropodidae)
Robert Hodgkison, Sharon T. Balding, Akbar Zubaid and Thomas H. Kunz
Journal of Tropical Ecology
Vol. 20, No. 6 (Nov., 2004), pp. 667-673
Published by: Cambridge University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4092111
Page Count: 7
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This study investigated the vertical stratification of Old World fruit bats (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) in relation to habitat structure and wing morphology, in a lowland Malaysian rain forest. In total, 352 fruit bats of eight species were captured within the subcanopy of the structurally complex old-growth forest during $72 306 m^2$ mist net hours of sampling. Fruit bat species that were grouped in relation to capture height were also grouped in relation to wing morphology - with those species predicted to have more manoeuvrable flight (i.e. lower wing-loadings and lower aspect-ratios) captured in increasingly cluttered airspaces. Thus, small differences in wing morphology are likely to be ecologically significant to the vertical stratification of bats. Hence, habitat heterogeneity may be a key factor promoting fruit bat species diversity in old-growth palaeotropical forests.
Journal of Tropical Ecology © 2004 Cambridge University Press