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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Bat community responses to structural habitat complexity resulting from management practices within different land use types - a case study from north-eastern Germany

Published source details

Starik N., Göttert T., Heitlinger E. & Zeller U. (2018) Bat community responses to structural habitat complexity resulting from management practices within different land use types - a case study from north-eastern Germany. Acta Chiropterologica, 20, 387-405


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

Manage forest and woodland to encourage understorey growth Bat Conservation

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.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)

Reduce pesticide, herbicide or fertiliser use Bat Conservation

A site comparison study in 2012–2013 of three grassland sites in Brandenburg, Germany (Starik et al. 2018) found that grasslands with moderate or no fertiliser applications had higher overall bat activity and more bat species than a grassland with high amounts of fertiliser applied. Overall bat activity (of 11 bat species) and the number of bat species recorded were higher over grasslands with moderate (average 11 bat passes/hour, 7 bat species/night) or no fertiliser applications (17 bat passes/hour, 7 bat species/night) than high fertiliser applications (5 bat passes/hour, 5 bat species/night). One site (1 ha) was sampled in each of three grasslands treated with different amounts of nitrogen (N) fertiliser (high applications: 225 kg/ha; moderate: 100 kg/ha; none applied). The site with high fertiliser applications was harvested three times/year, and the site with moderate fertiliser application was grazed (1 cow/ha). Sites were located a similar distance to settlements, water bodies and other land use types. At each of three sites, two bat detectors recorded bat activity simultaneously over a total of 46 nights in May–October 2012 and April–October 2013.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)