Responses of phyllostomid bats to traditional agriculture in neotropical montane forests of Southern Mexico

Miguel Briones-Salas, Mario C. Lavariega, Claudia E. Moreno, Joaquín Viveros

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1 Scopus citations


© 2019 Academia Sinica, Taiwan. Bat communities’ responses to land use change in neotropical montane forests have scarcely been studied. We hypothesized that, like in lowland forests, a montane agricultural area will have a lower species richness, abundance, diversity and species composition of understory phyllostomid bats than a native forest (montane cloud forest and pine-oak forest). Monthly surveys over the course of a year gave an overall low species richness and abundance (167 captures corresponding to nine species). We found a slight loss of species richness in agricultural areas with respect to the montane cloud forest (one species) and pine-oak forest (two species). However, differences in abundance were noteworthy: 45% and 73% fewer captures in agricultural areas than in the montane cloud forest and pine-oak forest, respectively. Species diversity was higher in the montane cloud forest than the pine-oak forest, but the diversity of agricultural areas did not differ between the types. Species and guild compositions did not differ between crops and forests. At least for the understory phyllostomid bats, and at the spatial scale studied, traditional management of agricultural areas in the study area and the surrounding matrix could explain the similarity in species richness, composition, and diversity between the agricultural area and native montane forests; however, other indicator groups should be evaluated to understand the effects of habitat loss on montane forests.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalZoological Studies
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

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