The Biogeography of European Bats Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/r207tr31j

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  • Understanding species distributions temporally and spatially will facilitate effective conservation efforts and catalyze informed environmental management decisions. The predicted distributions of 31 species of European bat (Mammalia: Chiroptera) were mapped across Europe using species presence records and environmental data from 72 environmental variables (annual mean temperature, precipitation, etc.). In order to reduce multicolinearities among environmental data, principal component analysis (PCA) was carried out on all environmental variables. The top four eigenvectors produced from PCA explained 99.85% of total variance seen in the original 72 environmental data layers. Correlations between species presence records and environmental conditions (stored as eigenvectors with 72 dimensions) were analyzed using maximum entropy (MAXENT) modeling software. Each final distribution was found to have superior power for predicting species presence when analyzed using receiver operated characteristic (ROC) plots and corresponding area under curve values (AUC). The mean AUC statistic for all distributions was 0.964 ± 0.016 with upper and lower bounds of (0, 1). Each final distribution was extensively correlated with annual temperature range indicating that ambient temperature significantly limits the distributions of European bats in agreement with previous studies on bat ecology. Results from this study on European bat distributions may be used to improve field identification and shape informed conservation management decisions.
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