BAT ACTIVITY IN CALIFORNIA REDWOOD FORESTS ACROSS A SUMMER FOG-CLIMATE GRADIENT.
Chelsea L. Andreozzi; University of California, Berkeley; 2029 Hearst Ave #4, Berkeley, CA, 94709; (561) 676-0613; candreozzi@berkeley.edu; Adina M. Merenlender
Fog provides critical hydrologic inputs to coastal ecosystems and may mitigate the impacts of higher temperatures and drought associated with climate change. Little is known about how fog patterns affect terrestrial fauna species distribution and behavior. We investigated bat species distribution in Mendocino and Sonoma County coast redwood forests at 15 sites, surveying across high and low summer fog habitat conditions in protected and working forests. Acoustic detectors were deployed for a minimum of 4 consecutive nights at each site in early and late summer 2018, with one detector in riparian corridor and a second in nearby forest cover. Temperature and humidity were recorded to relate bat activity to microclimate. Preliminary results show that bat species detected at a study site ranged between 4 to 11. Significant differences in detection rates were observed in same-site early and late summer comparisons, emphasizing the need for more intensive monitoring to accurately survey species presence and understand activity patterns. This ongoing research will ultimately address the value of California redwood forests as refugia for Western bats, as well as shed light on how climate variables interact with forest management practices to produce habitat conditions that are more or less favorable to different species.
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