University of Oulu

Kotila, M., Suominen, K.M., Vasko, V.V., Blomberg, A.S., Lehikoinen, A., Andersson, T., Aspi, J., Cederberg, T., Hänninen, J., Inkinen, J., Koskinen, J., Lundberg, G., Mäkinen, K., Rontti, M., Snickars, M., Solbakken, J., Sundell, J., Syvänperä, I., Vuorenmaa, S., Ylönen, J., Vesterinen, E.J. and Lilley, T.M. (2023), Large-scale long-term passive-acoustic monitoring reveals spatio-temporal activity patterns of boreal bats. Ecography, 2023: e06617.

Large-scale long-term passive-acoustic monitoring reveals spatio-temporal activity patterns of boreal bats

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Author: Kotila, Miika1; Suominen, Kati M.2; Vasko, Ville V.3;
Organizations: 1Biodiversity Unit, Univ. of Turku, Turku, Finland
2Finnish Museum of Natural History, Univ. of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3Dept of Biology, Univ. of Turku, Turku, Finland
4Kevo Research Station, Biodiversity Unit, Univ. of Turku, Turku, Finland
5Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, Univ. of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Husö Biological Station, Environmental and Marine Biology, Åbo Akademi Univ., Turku, Finland
7Archipelago Research Inst., Biodiversity Unit, Univ. of Turku, Turku, Finland
8Konnevesi Research Station, Univ. of Jyväskylä, Konnevesi, Finland
9Tvärminne Zoological Station, Univ. of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
10Oulanka Research Station, Univ. of Oulu, Kuusamo, Finland
11Lammi Biological Station, Univ. of Helsinki, Hämeenlinna, Finland
12Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station, Univ. of Helsinki, Juupajoki, Finland
13Biodiversity Unit, Univ. of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
14Dept of Ecology, Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-13


The distribution ranges and spatio-temporal patterns in the occurrence and activity of boreal bats are yet largely unknown due to their cryptic lifestyle and lack of suitable and efficient study methods. We approached the issue by establishing a permanent passive-acoustic sampling setup spanning the area of Finland to gain an understanding on how latitude affects bat species composition and activity patterns in northern Europe. The recorded bat calls were semi-automatically identified for three target taxa; Myotis spp., Eptesicus nilssonii or Pipistrellus nathusii and the seasonal activity patterns were modeled for each taxa across the seven sampling years (2015–2021). We found an increase in activity since 2015 for E. nilssonii and Myotis spp. For E. nilssonii and Myotis spp. we found significant latitude -dependent seasonal activity patterns, where seasonal variation in patterns appeared stronger in the north. Over the years, activity of P. nathusii increased during activity peak in June and late season but decreased in mid season. We found the passive-acoustic monitoring network to be an effective and cost-efficient method for gathering bat activity data to analyze spatio-temporal patterns. Long-term data on the composition and dynamics of bat communities facilitates better estimates of abundances and population trend directions for conservation purposes and predicting the effects of climate change.

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Series: Ecography
ISSN: 0906-7590
ISSN-E: 1600-0587
ISSN-L: 0906-7590
Volume: 2023
Issue: 6
Pages: 1 - 12
Article number: e06617
DOI: 10.1111/ecog.06617
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: MK is funded by Maj ja Tor Nesslingin Säätiö (201900354), KS and AB are funded by Koneen Säätiö (201801142, 201710231), AL and TML are funded by Academy of Finland (329250).
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Ecography published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.