Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Bat activity in relation to fire and fire surrogate treatments in southern pine stands

Published source details

Loeb S.C. & Waldrop T.A. (2008) Bat activity in relation to fire and fire surrogate treatments in southern pine stands. Forest Ecology and Management, 255, 3185-3192


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use prescribed burning Bat Conservation

A replicated, controlled, site comparison study in May–August 2001 and 2002 in an experimental pine forest in South Carolina, USA (Loeb & Waldrop 2008) found that in both years of the study overall bat activity was intermediate in burned and thinned/burned stands and not significantly different from control stands without any treatment (average 2.1 and 3.4 vs. 1.3 bat passes/night respectively in 2001, average 2 and 1.9 vs. 0.4 bat passes/night in 2002). Bat activity was the highest in thinned stands (average 8.2 bat passes/night in 2001, average 2.1 bat passes/night in 2002), but this difference was only statistically significant in 2001. Of the three most frequently recorded species, this pattern was consistent for big brown bats Eptesicus fuscus and eastern red bats Lasiurus borealis, but not for eastern pipistrelles Perimyotis subflavus, which did not vary between stand types in either year. Twelve 14 ha stands were selected with three replicates of four treatment types: prescribed burning (burned in April 2001 with strip head fire and flanking fires), thinning to 18 m2/ha (in winter 2000–2001), thinning to 18 m2/ha followed by prescribed burning (burned in spring 2002 with strip head fires) and a control with no treatment. Bat activity was sampled from sunset to sunrise with two bat detectors at random points in each stand for two nights per month from May–August in both years.

Thin trees within forests Bat Conservation

A replicated, controlled, site comparison study in May–August 2001 and 2002 in an experimental pine forest in South Carolina, USA (Loeb & Waldrop 2008) found that bat activity was higher in thinned stands than in unthinned control stands but this difference was only statistically significant in 2001 (average 8.2 vs. 1.3 bat passes/night respectively in 2001, average 2.1 vs. 0.4 bat passes/night in 2002). In both years of the study overall bat activity was intermediate in burned stands (average 2.1 bat passes/night in 2001, 2 bat passes/night in 2002) and thinned/burned stands (average 3.4 bat passes/night in 2001, 1.9 bat passes/night in 2002), but not significantly different from control stands without any treatment. Of the three most frequently recorded species, this pattern was consistent for big brown bats Eptesicus fuscus and eastern red bats Lasiurus borealis, but not for eastern pipistrelles Perimyotis subflavus, which did not vary between stand types in either year. Twelve 14 ha stands were selected with three replicates of four treatment types: prescribed burning (burned in April 2001 with strip head fire and flanking fires), thinning to 18 m2/ha (in winter 2000–2001), thinning to 18 m2/ha followed by prescribed burning (burned in spring 2002 with strip head fires) and a control with no treatment. Bat activity was sampled from sunset to sunrise with two bat detectors at random points in each stand for two nights per month from May–August in both years.