Action Synopsis: Bat Conservation About Actions

Manage forest and woodland to encourage understorey growth

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of managing forest and woodland to encourage understorey growth on bat populations. The study was in Germany.


  • Richness/diversity (1 study): One paired sites study in Germany found more bat species and higher bat diversity in a forest managed to encourage understorey growth than in a managed forest without understorey growth.


  • Abundance (1 study): One paired sites study in Germany found higher overall bat activity (relative abundance) in a forest managed to encourage understorey growth than in a managed forest without understorey growth.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A site comparison study in 2012–2013 of two forest sites in Brandenburg, Germany (Starik et al 2018) found that a forest managed to encourage understorey growth had higher overall bat activity and more bat species than a managed forest without understorey growth. Overall bat activity (of 11 bat species), the number of bat species recorded and bat diversity (reported as diversity indices) were higher in the forest with understorey growth (average 1.2 bat passes/hour, 3 bat species/night) than the forest without understorey growth (average 0.3 bat passes/hour, 2 bat species/night). One site (1 ha) was sampled in each of two managed forests, a Scots pine Pinus sylvestris monoculture stand without understorey, and a Scots pine stand with pedunculate oak Quercus robur in the understorey. Sites were selected to ensure they were a similar distance to settlements, water bodies and other land use types. At each of two sites, two bat detectors recorded bat activity simultaneously over a total of 37 nights in May–October 2012 and April–October 2013.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Berthinussen, A., Richardson O.C. and Altringham J.D. (2021) Bat Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions. Conservation Evidence Series Synopses. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Bat Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Bat Conservation
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