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      Structure and diversity of phyllostomid bat assemblages on riparian corridors in a human-dominated tropical landscape

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          Tropical forests around the world have been lost, mainly because of agricultural activities. Linear elements like riparian vegetation in fragmented tropical landscapes help maintain the native flora and fauna. Information about the role of riparian corridors as a reservoir of bat species, however, is scanty. We assessed the value of riparian corridors on the conservation of phyllostomid bat assemblage in an agricultural landscape of southern Mexico. For 2 years (2011–2013), mist-netting at ground level was carried out twice during the dry season (December to May) and twice during the wet season (June to November) in different habitats: (1) riparian corridors in mature forest, (2) riparian corridors in pasture, (3) continuous forest away from riparian vegetation, and (4) open pastures. Each habitat was replicated three times. To determine the influence of vegetation structure on bat assemblages, all trees (≥10 cm dbh) were sampled in all habitats. Overall, 1752 individuals belonging to 28 species of Phyllostomidae were captured with Sternodermatinae being the most rich and abundant subfamily. Riparian corridors in mature forest and pastures had the greatest species richness and shared 65% of all species. Open pastures had the lowest richness and abundance of bats with no Phyllostominae species recorded. Six of the 18 species recorded could be considered as habitat indicators. There was a positive relationship between bat species composition and tree basal area. Our findings suggest that contrary to our expectations, bats with generalist habits and naturally abundant could be useful detector taxa of habitat modification, rather than bats strongly associated with undisturbed forest. Also in human-dominated landscapes, the maintenance of habitat elements such as large trees in riparian corridors can serve as reservoirs for bat species, especially for those that are strongly associated with undisturbed forest.

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            The Role of Riparian Corridors in Maintaining Regional Biodiversity

            Riparian corridors possess an unusually diverse array of species and environmental processes. This "ecological" diversity is related to variable flood regimes, geomorphic channel processes, altitudinal climate shifts, and upland influences on the fluvial corridor. This dynamic environment results in a variety of life history strategies, and a diversity of biogeochemical cycles and rates, as organisms adapt to disturbance regimes over broad spatio-temporal scales. These facts suggest that effective riparian management could ameliorate many ecological issues related to land use and environmental quality. We contend that riparian corridors should play an essential role in water and landscape planning, in the restoration of aquatic systems, and in catalyzing institutional and societal cooperation for these efforts.
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              Neotropical Floristic Diversity: Phytogeographical Connections Between Central and South America, Pleistocene Climatic Fluctuations, or an Accident of the Andean Orogeny?


                Author and article information

                Ecol Evol
                Ecol Evol
                Ecology and Evolution
                BlackWell Publishing Ltd (Oxford, UK )
                February 2015
                28 January 2015
                : 5
                : 4
                : 903-913
                [1 ]Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Morelia, Michoacán, México
                [2 ]Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Morelia, Michoacán, México
                [3 ]Estacion de Biología Tropical “Los Tuxtlas”, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Morelia, Michoacán, México
                Author notes
                Correspondence Erika de la Peña-Cuéllar, Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 27-3 (Xangari), Morelia, Michoacán 58190, México., Tel:+52 443-322-2777; Fax: +52 443-322-2719; E-mail: erikapc@

                Funding Information Funding for this project was provided by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), Bat Conservation International (BCI) and the National Autonomus University of Mexico (UNAM).

                © 2015 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research

                Evolutionary Biology

                frugivores, indicator taxa, diversity, agricultural matrix, corridors


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