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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Bat response to woodland restoration within urban forest fragments

Published source details

Smith D.A. & Gehrt S.D. (2010) Bat response to woodland restoration within urban forest fragments. Restoration Ecology, 18, 914-923


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

Control invasive plant species Bat Conservation

A site comparison study in 2004–2005 in nine forest fragments within the Chicago metropolitan area, USA (Smith & Gehrt 2010) found that two of seven forest fragments that had undergone restoration, including invasive plant species removal, had higher bat activity than two unrestored forest fragments. Bat activity was higher in two forest fragments that had been restored with invasive plant species removal, multiple prescribed burns, and snag recruitment (average 7–19 bat passes/survey) than in two control sites with no restoration (average 1–4 bat passes/survey). Bat activity was similar between control sites and five other forest fragments that had been restored with various combinations of invasive plant species removal, multiple prescribed burns, snag recruitment and deer population control (1–6 bat passes/survey). Six bat species were recorded in total (see original reference for data for individual species). The study does not distinguish between the effects of invasive plant species removal and the other interventions carried out. Fire suppression over the last 100 years had altered the structure of the nine forest fragments (10–260 ha in size). Seven of the nine forest fragments were being restored to open up the canopy, reduce tree density and remove invasive plant species. At each of nine sites, four bat detectors recorded bat activity for four hours from sunset for five nights/year in June–September 2004 and May–August 2005.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)

Create or restore bat foraging habitat in urban areas Bat Conservation

A site comparison study in 2004–2005 in nine forest fragments within the Chicago metropolitan area, USA (Smith & Gehrt 2010) found that two of seven restored forest fragments had higher bat activity than two unrestored forest fragments. Bat activity was higher in two forest fragments that had been restored with multiple prescribed burns, invasive plant species removal and snag recruitment (average 7–19 bat passes/survey) than in two control sites with no restoration (average 1–4 bat passes/survey). Bat activity was similar between control sites and five other forest fragments that had been restored with multiple prescribed burns and various combinations of invasive species removal, snag recruitment and deer population control (1–6 bat passes/survey). Six bat species were recorded in total (see original reference for data for individual species). Fire suppression over the last 100 years had altered the structure of the nine forest fragments (10–260 ha in size). Seven of the nine forest fragments were being restored to open up the canopy, reduce tree density and remove invasive plant species. At each of nine sites, four bat detectors recorded bat activity for four hours from sunset for five nights/year in June–September 2004 and May–August 2005.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)

Use prescribed burning Bat Conservation

A site comparison study in 2004–2005 in nine forest fragments within the Chicago metropolitan area, USA (Smith & Gehrt 2010) found that two of seven forest fragments that had undergone restortation, including prescribed burning, had higher bat activity than two unrestored forest fragments. Bat activity was higher in two forest fragments that had been restored with multiple prescribed burns, invasive plant species removal and snag recruitment (average 7–19 bat passes/survey) than in two control sites with no restoration (average 1–4 bat passes/survey). Bat activity was similar between control sites and five other forest fragments that had been restored with multiple prescribed burns and various combinations of invasive species removal, snag recruitment and deer population control (1–6 bat passes/survey). Six bat species were recorded in total (see original reference for data for individual species). The study does not distinguish between the effects of prescribed burning and the other interventions carried out. Fire suppression over the last 100 years had altered the structure of the nine forest fragments (10–260 ha in size). Seven of the nine forest fragments were being restored to open up the canopy, reduce tree density and remove invasive plant species. At each of nine sites, four bat detectors recorded bat activity for four hours from sunset for five nights/year in June–September 2004 and May–August 2005.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)