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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effects of prescribed fire on bat communities in the longleaf pine sandhills ecosystem

Published source details

Armitage D.W. & Ober H.K. (2012) The effects of prescribed fire on bat communities in the longleaf pine sandhills ecosystem. Journal of Mammalogy, 93, 102-114


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Use prescribed burning Bat Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 2008–2009 of 48 sites in two mixed forests in Florida, USA (Armitage & Ober 2012) found that the frequency of prescribed burns had no effect on the activity of cluttered habitat bat species, but open habitat bat species were recorded less in forest sites with longer periods between burns. The activity of bat species adapted to cluttered habitats did not differ significantly in forest sites with different burn frequencies (1–2 year burn: average 6 bat passes/site/night; 3–5 year burn: 4 bat passes/site/night; >8 year burn: 6 bat passes/site/night). Bat species adapted to open habitats had lower activity in forest sites with a longer period between burns (>8 years: 0.03 bat passes/site/night) than forest sites with more frequent burns (1–2 year burn: 0.1 bat passes/site/night; 3–5 year burn: 0.05 bat passes/site/night). Twenty-four 40 ha study plots were randomly selected in each of two forests with eight plots for each of three burn frequencies (burns every 1–2 years, 3–5 years or >8 years). Bat detectors recorded nightly bat activity at two randomly chosen sites/burn frequency/night for four evenings/week with sites rotated weekly in May–August 2008 and 2009.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)