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Title: Bat use of remnant old-growth redwood stands

Author: Zielinski, William J.; Gellman, Steven T.;

Date: 1999

Source: Conservation Biology 13(1):160-167

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Most of the old-growth redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) in Calfornia has been cut; regenerating forests will probably never resemble those that were harvested, and what old growth remains on private land occurs in small, isolated remnant patches. The landscapes in which these stands occur differ so markedly from their original condition that their value as habitat to many species of wildlife, including bats, is unknown. Previous research in unfragmented redwood forests demonstrated that bats use basal hollows in oldgrowth redwoods as roosts. We sought to determine whether bats use similar old-growth trees as roosts when they occur in small, remnant patches of isolated old growth on commercial forest land. We compared bat occurrence in remnant and contiguous stands by collecting guano in traps suspended in hollows and by monitoring flight activity with ultrasonic bat detectors. Hollows in trees within the remnant stands had significantly more guano deposited per tree than the trees within the contiguous forest. The mean numbers of bat passes per night were statistically indistinguishable between the two treatments, although mean flight activity in the remnant stands was greater than in the contiguous forest. Bats frequently used basal hollows in small (<5 ha) stands of remnant old growth, which may be due to the closer proximity of remnants to stream courses, to their greater interface with edge where foraging success may be greater, or to the fact that the lower density of hollow-bearing trees in remnants than in contiguous forest favored greater use per tree. Significant use of small, residual old-growth redwood provides reason to maintain these remnants in managed landscapes as potentially important habitat for forest bats.

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Zielinski, William J.; Gellman, Steven T. 1999. Bat use of remnant old-growth redwood stands. Conservation Biology 13(1):160-167


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