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Riparian reserves promote insectivorous bat activity in oil palm dominated landscapes

Mullin, Katherine, Yoh, Natalie, Mitchell,, Simon L., Basrur, Saloni, Seaman, Dave J.I, Bernard, Henry, Struebig, Matthew J. (2020) Riparian reserves promote insectivorous bat activity in oil palm dominated landscapes. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, . ISSN 2624-893X. (doi:10.3389/ffgc.2020.00073) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:81335)

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Abstract

The expansion of oil palm agriculture has contributed to biodiversity loss in Southeast Asia and elsewhere in the tropics. Riparian reserves (areas of native forest along waterways) have the potential to maintain forest biodiversity and associated ecological processes within these agricultural landscapes. Using acoustic sampling, we investigated the value of riparian reserves for insectivorous bats in oil palm plantations in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. We compared general bat activity, foraging activity, and species occupancy between riparian areas in forest and riparian reserves in oil palm plantations. Overall bat activity varied little between riparian reserves in oil palm and riparian forest. Rather, activity was greatest in areas with a high forest canopy, irrespective of how much forest was available within or outside the riparian reserve. Bat foraging activity, as well as the occupancy of two species, was greatest in the forest sites, and while bats were detected in the oil palm riparian reserves, both foraging and occupancy were more associated with topographic ruggedness than forest amount or height. Our results indicate that habitat structure within riparian reserves may be more important than reserve size for supporting insectivorous bat diversity within oil palm landscapes. These findings provide important insights into the extent of the ecological benefits provided by conservation set-asides in forest-agricultural landscapes in the tropics.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3389/ffgc.2020.00073
Uncontrolled keywords: Chiroptera (bats), Southeast (SE) Asia, palm oil, riparian buffer, acoustic monitoring, Habitat Fragmentation, land-use change, Biodiversity
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH541 Ecology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Matthew Struebig
Date Deposited: 20 May 2020 16:32 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2020 08:51 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/81335 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Yoh, Natalie: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6171-3800
Mitchell,, Simon L.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8826-4868
Seaman, Dave J.I: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6616-7001
Struebig, Matthew J.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2058-8502
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