9 Feb 2016 Río Sapo, El Salvador, Central and Latin America Bats | Habitats | Mammals
Dispersal of Large-Seeded Plants by Tent Roosting Bats (Phyllostomidae) and Understory Forest Conditions in Two Alluvial Forests of El Salvador
To determine the genetic diversity in two phyllostomid bats across the country and understand how the landscape matrix can promote or limitate bat dispersal and species richness.
El Salvador is a country with highly fragmented natural habitat (for example, a forest cover of just 14%), and yet there aren´t studies analyzing population genetics considering the big changes in El Salvador´s forest cover. Although bats are highly-mobile mammals, some authors have now reported that bats can present genetic limitation in fragmented landscapes on a small scale. With this research I will attempt to determine the genetic diversity in two phyllostomid bats (differing in size and feeding behavior) in forest remnants with two different matrices. I will also estimate the bat species richness in two forest matrices (shade coffee plantations versus grasslands) that are most abundant in El Salvador.
The results of this research could provide relevant information on how genetic diversity in two common and widespread bat species Artibeus jamaicensis and Glossophaga soricina may or may not present limitations. If I´m able to find differences in the genetic diversity of the same species in the study sites, this can be used as a reference for other (less common and mobile) species, implying more research to determine if fragmentation levels or other elements in the landscape can affect other species more severely.