Collective Behaviour - Summer Seminar Series

Ephemeral resource adaptations in bats

Dina Dechmann, University of Konstanz

Dina Dechmann is a behavioral ecologist at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior. She is interested in group living species and questions about their way of live, particularly in the evolution of sociality and their mating systems. Additionally, she is interested in comparing knowledge from group-living organisms gathered from geographical comparisons such as the tropics and the temperate zones.

Seminar title:  Ephemeral resource adaptations in bats

Abstract: Environmental heterogeneity poses a variety of challenges to foraging animals trying to meet their energetic needs. Especially small animals with high metabolisms have to minimize energy expenditure, while maximizing food intake. Bats, with their expensive mode of locomotion are an excellent model to study these trade-offs. I focus on species with a very narrow food niche that are highly dependent on spatially and/or temporally ephemeral food. Where food patches are unpredictable but shareable, these bats can use social information to locate patches efficiently. Depending on how strongly they depend on the ephemeral resource, bats may use any strategy from opportunistic eavesdropping, to social learning, to following informed individuals, to collective searching with group members. They may use these strategies always, seasonally or rarely depending on their energetic limitations and life cycle. This is then linked to correlated adaptations in physiology, social behavior and morphology. Understanding social foraging in bats will allow us to better understand the effects of selection caused by heterogeneity in the resource landscape

Datum: 2020-05-25