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A comparative analysis of specialization and extinction risk in temperate-zone bats.


Safi, K; Kerth, G (2004). A comparative analysis of specialization and extinction risk in temperate-zone bats. Conservation biology, 18(5):1293-1303.

Abstract

Identifying the factors that influence the extinction risk of animals is essential in conservation biology because they help identify endangered species and provide the basis for their preservation.We present a comparative study that uses data from the literature on the diet and morphological specialization of European and North American bat species to investigate the effect of specialization on extinction risk. We focused on bats because many species are endangered and their high ecological diversity makes them a good model system for our purpose. After correcting for phylogenetic inertia, we compared the influence of dietary niche breadth as a measure of food specialization and of wing morphology as a measure of foraging strategy, habitat adaptation, and migratory ability on the vulnerability of 35 insectivorous bat species. Our results do not support the hypothesis that a narrow dietary niche breadth is related to high extinction risk. Instead they suggest that habitat specialization, which is reflected in wing morphology, influences the extinction risk of bats. Our study shows that an initial risk assessment in temperate-zone bats could be based on data of wing morphology but not on dietary data obtained from fecal analyses.

Identifying the factors that influence the extinction risk of animals is essential in conservation biology because they help identify endangered species and provide the basis for their preservation.We present a comparative study that uses data from the literature on the diet and morphological specialization of European and North American bat species to investigate the effect of specialization on extinction risk. We focused on bats because many species are endangered and their high ecological diversity makes them a good model system for our purpose. After correcting for phylogenetic inertia, we compared the influence of dietary niche breadth as a measure of food specialization and of wing morphology as a measure of foraging strategy, habitat adaptation, and migratory ability on the vulnerability of 35 insectivorous bat species. Our results do not support the hypothesis that a narrow dietary niche breadth is related to high extinction risk. Instead they suggest that habitat specialization, which is reflected in wing morphology, influences the extinction risk of bats. Our study shows that an initial risk assessment in temperate-zone bats could be based on data of wing morphology but not on dietary data obtained from fecal analyses.

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74 citations in Web of Science®
80 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2004
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:16
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:14
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0888-8892
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.00155.x
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-580

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