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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Agroforestry systems conserve species-rich but modified assemblages of tropical birds and bats

Published source details

Harvey C. & González Villalobos J.A. (2007) Agroforestry systems conserve species-rich but modified assemblages of tropical birds and bats. Biodiversity and Conservation, 16, 2257-2292


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

Retain or plant native trees and shrubs amongst crops (agroforestry) Bat Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 2002–2003 in 28 agroforestry plantations and seven tropical lowland forest sites in Talamanca, Costa Rica (Harvey & González Villalobos 2007) found that banana and cacao agroforestry plantations had higher bat diversity and more bat species than unshaded plantain monocultures, but the total number of bats captured did not differ. Bat diversity (reported as diversity indices) and the number of bat species was significantly higher in banana (14 bat species) and cacao (15 bat species) agroforestry plantations than in unshaded plantain monocultures (10 bat species). A similar number of bats were captured in banana (76 bats) and cacao (89 bats) agroforestry plantations and in unshaded plantain monocultures (83 bats). Banana and cacao agroforestry plantations had similar or higher bat diversity, number of bat species and bat captures as native forest (13 bat species, 47 bats captured). Banana and cacao agroforestry plantations were grown organically with a shade canopy of native trees or planted fruit and timber trees. Plantain monocultures were grown without shade and with the use of chemicals such as insecticides. Thirty-five sites were sampled including seven replicates each of native forest, plantain monoculture and banana agroforestry, and 14 replicates of cacao agroforestry. At each of 35 sites, bats were captured with four mist nets for five hours on one night in May–November 2002/2003 and one night in February–November 2003.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)