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Fission, fusion and nonrandom associations in female Bechstein’s bats (Myotis Bechsteinii).


Kerth, G; König, B (1999). Fission, fusion and nonrandom associations in female Bechstein’s bats (Myotis Bechsteinii). Behaviour, 136(9):1187-1202.

Abstract

Maternity colonies of the Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii) are socially closed units that frequently split into subgroups which occupy different roosts. We analysed the social structure of one colony over three years in the Ž eld and quantiŽ ed associations among pairs of females by using three association indices. Colony members exhibited marked mixing, although individual composition of subgroups was not completely random. Females associated according to the reproductive status, with lactating females preferentially roosting together. Relatedness, determined from 5 nuclear and 1 mitochondrial microsatellite, had no consistent in uence on the degree of association. In combination, the indices allowed for the interpretation that nonrandom associations occur even in the absence of shared roost and group size preferences. High individual associations among reproducing female Bechstein’s bats might re ect the importance of cooperation in maternity colonies. The frequent Ž ssion and fusion of subgroups suggests a  exible reaction of Bechstein’s bats according to enviromental conditions.

Abstract

Maternity colonies of the Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii) are socially closed units that frequently split into subgroups which occupy different roosts. We analysed the social structure of one colony over three years in the Ž eld and quantiŽ ed associations among pairs of females by using three association indices. Colony members exhibited marked mixing, although individual composition of subgroups was not completely random. Females associated according to the reproductive status, with lactating females preferentially roosting together. Relatedness, determined from 5 nuclear and 1 mitochondrial microsatellite, had no consistent in uence on the degree of association. In combination, the indices allowed for the interpretation that nonrandom associations occur even in the absence of shared roost and group size preferences. High individual associations among reproducing female Bechstein’s bats might re ect the importance of cooperation in maternity colonies. The frequent Ž ssion and fusion of subgroups suggests a  exible reaction of Bechstein’s bats according to enviromental conditions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
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:1999
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:14
Publisher:Koninklijke Brill NV
ISSN:0005-7959
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1163/156853999501711

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