Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate change projected to alter Indiana bat maternity range

Date:
January 28, 2013
Source:
USDA Forest Service ‑ Southern Research Station
Summary:
Scientists have forecast profound changes over the next 50 years in the summer range of the endangered Indiana bat. Researchers now discuss the findings of one of the first studies designed to forecast the responses of a temperate zone bat species to climate change.

Research by U.S. Forest Service scientists forecasts profound changes over the next 50 years in the summer range of the endangered Indiana bat. In an article published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, Forest Service Southern Research Station researchers Susan Loeb and Eric Winters discuss the findings of one of the first studies designed to forecast the responses of a temperate zone bat species to climate change.

The researchers modeled the current maternity distribution of Indiana bats and then modeled future distributions based on four different climate change scenarios. "We found that due to projected changes in temperature, the most suitable summer range for Indiana bats would decline and become concentrated in the northeastern United States and the Appalachian Mountains," says SRS research ecologist Loeb. "The western part of the range (Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio) -- currently considered the heart of Indiana bat maternity range -- would become unsuitable under most climates that we modeled. This has important implications for managers in the Northeast and the Appalachian Mountains as these areas will most likely serve as climatic refuges for these animals when other parts of the range become too warm."

In general, bat species in temperate zones such as Indiana bats may be more sensitive than many other groups of mammals to climate change because their reproductive cycles, hibernation patterns, and migration are closely tied to temperature. Indiana bat populations were in decline for decades due to multiple factors, including the destruction of winter hibernation sites and loss of summer maternity habitat.

Due to conservation efforts, researchers saw an increase in Indiana bat populations in 2000 to 2005, but with the onset of white-nose syndrome populations are declining again, with the number of Indiana bats reported hibernating in the northeastern United States down by 72 percent in 2011. The study predicts even more declines due to temperature rises from climate change, with much of the western portion of the current range forecast to be unsuitable for maternity habitat by 2060.

"Our model suggests that once average summer (May through August) maximum temperatures reach 27.4C (81.3F), the climatic suitability of the area for Indiana bat maternity colonies declines," says Loeb. "Once they reach 29.9C (85.8F), the area is forecast to become completely unsuitable. Initially, Indiana bat maternity colonies may respond to warming temperatures by choosing roosts that have more shade than the roosts that they currently use. Eventually, it is likely that they will have to find more suitable climates."

The models the researchers produced provide resource managers guidance on areas that are likely to contain maternity colonies now and in the future, depending on the availability of suitable habitat in those areas. "Managers in the western parts of the range should be aware of the potential changes in summer distributions due to climate change and not assume that declines are due to habitat loss or degradation," says Loeb. "Management actions that foster high reproductive success and survival will be critical for the conservation and recovery of the species."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA Forest Service ‑ Southern Research Station. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Susan C. Loeb, Eric A. Winters. Indiana bat summer maternity distribution: effects of current and future climates. Ecology and Evolution, 2012; 3 (1): 103 DOI: 10.1002/ece3.440

Cite This Page:

USDA Forest Service ‑ Southern Research Station. "Climate change projected to alter Indiana bat maternity range." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128191233.htm>.
USDA Forest Service ‑ Southern Research Station. (2013, January 28). Climate change projected to alter Indiana bat maternity range. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128191233.htm
USDA Forest Service ‑ Southern Research Station. "Climate change projected to alter Indiana bat maternity range." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128191233.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Icelandic authorities briefly raised the aviation warning code to red on Friday during a small eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in the Bardabunga volcano system. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins