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Food resource partitioning inb syntopic nectarivorous bats on Puerto Rico
Soto-Centeno, J., D. L. PHILLIPS, A. Kurta, AND K. A. Hobson. Food resource partitioning inb syntopic nectarivorous bats on Puerto Rico. JOURNAL OF TROPICAL ECOLOGY. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, 30:359-369, (2014).
We analyzed stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N) to estimate the importance of plants and insects to the diet of two nectar-feeding bats on Puerto Rico, the brown flower bat (Erophylla bombifrons) and the Greater Antillean long-tongued bat (Monophyllus redmani).
We analyzed stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N) to estimate the importance of plants and insects to the diet of two nectar-feeding bats on Puerto Rico, the brown flower bat (Erophylla bombifrons) and the Greater Antillean long-tongued bat (Monophyllus redmani). Concentrations of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen were obtained from blood of both species of bats and tissues of known plant and insect prey. We used a concentration-dependent mixing model (combination of IsoConc and IsoSource) to determine the range of feasible dietary contributions by major potential foods used by the bats. We collected 67 E. bombifrons and 71 M. redmani over a period of 15 weeks at the same locality, as well as samples from seven plant species and six insect orders. Separate analyses were conducted for each species and reproductive condition (males; non-reproductive, pregnant, and lactating females). Overall, insects were an important food source for M. redmani but not for E. bombifrons, representing at least 44–72 % and 4–16 % of dietary biomass for the two species, respectively. Although ranges of feasible contributions of plants to the diet of M. redmani were quite broad, plants represented between 0 and 56 % of dietary biomass of all reproductive conditions. In contrast, plants were a more important food source for E. bombifrons, contributing 48–96 % of dietary biomass. These results provide additional resolution to previously published findings based on fecal analysis. We propose that greater reliance on insects by M. redmani will allow populations of this species to recover more quickly after environmental disturbances, such as hurricanes.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION
ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS BRANCH