Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Biology

Date of Award

8-2020

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Richard Carter

Committee Members

T. Andrew Joyner, Tom Laughlin

Abstract

Up to 87% of the world’s wetlands have been destroyed, considerably reducing ecosystem services these wetlands once provided. More recently, many wetlands are being restored in an attempt to regain their ecosystem service. This study seeks to determine the effects of restored wetlands on local bat habitat use. Bat activity was found to be significantly higher around the wetlands when compared to distant grassy fields; however, no significant difference was found among the restored wetlands and a remote cattle farm containing multiple water features. Geospatial models of bat distribution and bat foraging were produced using machine learning that showed higher habitat suitability and foraging activity around restored wetlands than around distant grassy fields, suggesting that wetlands provide vital habitat for insectivorous bats. This study demonstrates that restored wetlands promote bat activity and bat foraging, and restoring wetlands may be a useful means of increasing natural pest control over nearby farmlands.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Included in

Biology Commons

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