Main content

Effects of White-Nose Syndrome on Bat Diets and Interspecific Competition

Show full item record

Title: Effects of White-Nose Syndrome on Bat Diets and Interspecific Competition
Author: Morningstar, Derek
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Fryxell, John
Abstract: Competition is commonly invoked to explain variation in abundance, activity patterns, and resource use, but is difficult to detect in nature. Introduction of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats provides a natural experiment to test the impact of interspecific competition on bat communities. Acoustic monitoring at locations in Southern Ontario showed an increase in activity of Big Brown Bats (Eptesicus fuscus) and corresponding decline in the activity of Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), following the introduction of WNS. Next generation sequencing of bat stomachs and guano in Southern Ontario before and after WNS allowed for the characterization of diet changes of these species. As a function of competitive release, E. fuscus consumed a wider breadth of prey and many of the insect species once consumed by M. lucifugus, including several pest insects. These results suggest that interspecific competition has a detectable effect on bat communities in Southern Ontario.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/10221
Date: 2017-01


Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Morningstar_Derek_201701_MSc.pdf 1.547Mb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record