Interspecific competition (IC) is often seen as a main driver of evolutionary patterns and community structure. Bats might compete for key resources, and cases of exaggerated divergence of resource-related characters or trait overdispersion in bat assemblages are often explained in terms of current or past interspecific competition. However, other pressures leading to patterns that mimic the outcome of competition cannot always be ruled out. We present the state of knowledge on IC among bats, providing a critical evaluation of the information available and identifying open questions and challenges. We reviewed 100 documents addressing potential or actual IC in bats and categorised them in terms of the resource for which bats compete (food, foraging habitat, roosts, water, and acoustic space). We also examined the ecomorphological and behavioural traits considered therein to highlight responses to IC or niche partitioning. We found that: although resources should be limiting in order for competition to occur, this is seldom tested; sympatry is sometimes taken as synonymous of syntopy (yet sympatric species that are not syntopic will never experience competition); comparisons between sympatry and allopatry are rare; and testing of objective criteria exploring the existence of niche partitioning or character displacement is not commonly adopted. While morphological examination of food remains in droppings has often led to coarse-grained analysis that proved insufficient to establish the occurrence of food niche overlap or partitioning, new frontiers are being opened by state-of-the-art molecular dietary analysis. A better understanding of IC in bats is paramount, since distributional changes leading to novel bat assemblages driven by climate change are already taking place, and the dramatic decline in insect availability, as well as the global loss or alteration of foraging habitat, may generate new competitive interactions or exacerbate existing interactions in the Anthropocene, and into the future.

Interspecific competition in bats: state of knowledge and research challenges / Salinas-Ramos, V. B.; Ancillotto, L.; Bosso, L.; Sanchez-Cordero, V.; Russo, D.. - In: MAMMAL REVIEW. - ISSN 0305-1838. - 50:1(2020), pp. 68-81. [10.1111/mam.12180]

Interspecific competition in bats: state of knowledge and research challenges

Ancillotto L.;Bosso L.;Russo D.
2020

Abstract

Interspecific competition (IC) is often seen as a main driver of evolutionary patterns and community structure. Bats might compete for key resources, and cases of exaggerated divergence of resource-related characters or trait overdispersion in bat assemblages are often explained in terms of current or past interspecific competition. However, other pressures leading to patterns that mimic the outcome of competition cannot always be ruled out. We present the state of knowledge on IC among bats, providing a critical evaluation of the information available and identifying open questions and challenges. We reviewed 100 documents addressing potential or actual IC in bats and categorised them in terms of the resource for which bats compete (food, foraging habitat, roosts, water, and acoustic space). We also examined the ecomorphological and behavioural traits considered therein to highlight responses to IC or niche partitioning. We found that: although resources should be limiting in order for competition to occur, this is seldom tested; sympatry is sometimes taken as synonymous of syntopy (yet sympatric species that are not syntopic will never experience competition); comparisons between sympatry and allopatry are rare; and testing of objective criteria exploring the existence of niche partitioning or character displacement is not commonly adopted. While morphological examination of food remains in droppings has often led to coarse-grained analysis that proved insufficient to establish the occurrence of food niche overlap or partitioning, new frontiers are being opened by state-of-the-art molecular dietary analysis. A better understanding of IC in bats is paramount, since distributional changes leading to novel bat assemblages driven by climate change are already taking place, and the dramatic decline in insect availability, as well as the global loss or alteration of foraging habitat, may generate new competitive interactions or exacerbate existing interactions in the Anthropocene, and into the future.
2020
Interspecific competition in bats: state of knowledge and research challenges / Salinas-Ramos, V. B.; Ancillotto, L.; Bosso, L.; Sanchez-Cordero, V.; Russo, D.. - In: MAMMAL REVIEW. - ISSN 0305-1838. - 50:1(2020), pp. 68-81. [10.1111/mam.12180]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/833350
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