On the development of a trait-based approach for studying Neotropical bats


  • Dennis Castillo-Figueroa Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ), Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de Biología, Unidad de Ecología y Sistemática (UNESIS), Laboratorio de Ecología Funcional http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4584-0762
  • Jairo Pérez-Torres Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ), Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de Biología, Unidad de Ecología y Sistemática (UNESIS), Laboratorio de Ecología Funcional http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7121-6210




Chiroptera, Ecosystem functions, Functional traits, Morphology, Life-history


New World bats are involved in key ecological processes and are good indicators of environmental changes. Recently, trait-based approaches have been used in several taxa to better understand mechanisms underlying species assemblages, biotic interactions, environmental relationships and ecosystem functions. However, despite the relevance of bats on ecosystem dynamics, so far, there is no conceptual framework that relies on the measurement of bat traits to address functional studies. Here, we present a set of 50 bat biological traits, which are suitable to assess environmental stressors and can potentially affect ecological processes. Several examples were provided to show the applicability of this framework in the study of Neotropical bat ecology. We suggest some considerations regarding trait-based approach including the importance of intraspecific variation, correlations between traits, response-effect framework, global dataset, and future directions to assess the reliability of functional relations across species and Neotropical regions by using traits. This could be helpful in tackling ecological questions associated with community assembly and habitat filtering, species diversity patterns along environmental gradients, and ecological processes. We envision this paper as a first step toward an integrative bat functional trait protocol held up with solid evidence.


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How to Cite

Castillo-Figueroa, D., & Pérez-Torres, J. (2021). On the development of a trait-based approach for studying Neotropical bats. Papéis Avulsos De Zoologia, 61, e20216124. https://doi.org/10.11606/1807-0205/2021.61.24



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