1 Tahrcountry Musings: New facts about Bats

Friday, April 04, 2008

New facts about Bats

New facts about bats are coming to light. A study by Margareta B Kalka, Adam R. Smit and Elisabeth K. V. Kalko has come up with the finding that bats have dramatic ecological effects that were previously overlooked. The experiment was done in a lowland tropical forest in Panama and concluded that bats eat as many insects at night as birds do during the day and disappearance of insect-eating bats in agricultural landscapes could have negative effects on crop cultivation. Kalka recommends “bats should be included in future conservation plans aimed at preserving the integrity of tropical forests and also considered in agricultural management strategies based on natural pest control". Margareta B. Kalka and Adam R. Smith are from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Panama. Elisabeth K. V. Kalko is from Institute of Experimental Ecology, University of Ulm, Germany.

Details of the work appear in the journal Science.

M.B. Kalka et al (2008). "Bats Limit Arthropods and Herbivory in a Tropical Forest" and K. Williams-Guillen et al (2008) "Bats Limit Insects in a Neotropical Agroforestry System." Science 4 April 2008.

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