Data from: Separating the effects of water quality and urbanization on temperate insectivorous bats at the landscape scale
Li, Han; Kalcounis-Ruppell, Matina; Kalcounis-Rueppell, Matina (2017), Data from: Separating the effects of water quality and urbanization on temperate insectivorous bats at the landscape scale, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bm8fk
Many local scale studies have shown that bats respond to water quality degradation or urbanization in a species-specific manner. However, few have separated the effects of urbanization vs water quality degradation on bats, in single city or single watershed case studies. Across North Carolina, USA, we used the standardized North American Bat Monitoring Program mobile transect protocol to survey bat activity in 2015 and 2016 at 41 sites. We collected statewide water quality and urban land cover data to disentangle the effects of urbanization and water degradation on bats at the landscape scale. We found that statewide, water quality and urbanization were not correlated. We found that bats responded to water quality degradation and urbanization independently at the landscape scale. Eptesicus fuscus and Lasiurus cinereus negatively responded to water quality degradation. Lasiurus borealis and Perimyotis subflavus positively responded to water quality degradation. Lasionycteris noctivagans did not respond to water quality degradation but was more active in more urbanized areas. Tadarida brasiliensis positively responded to urbanization and was less active in areas with degraded water quality. We show that bat-water quality relationships found at the local scale are evident at a landscape scale. We confirm that bats are useful bioindicators for both urbanization and water degradation. We suggest that water quality can be used to predict the presence of bat species of conservation concern, such as P. subflavus, in areas where it has not been studied locally.