Natureza & Conservação Natureza & Conservação
Nat Con 2014;12:99-105 DOI: 10.1016/j.ncon.2014.09.001
Essays and Perspectives
Effects of logging on bats in tropical forests
Isai J. Castroa,, , Fernanda Michalskia,b
a Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biodiversidade Tropical, Universidade Federal do Amapá – UNIFAP, Macapá, AP, Brazil
b Instituto Pró-Carnívoros, Atibaia, SP, Brazil
Received 20 June 2014, Accepted 15 August 2014
Abstract

Logging is one of the main causes of biodiversity loss in tropical forests. In the past decades there was an increase in the number of studies on the effects of logging on biodiversity, but there has been little advancement for bats, despite their ecological importance. We present a review of studies on the effects of logging on bats in tropical forests worldwide carried out in the past three decades. We aimed at answering the following questions: What is known about the effects of logging on the bat fauna of tropical forests? What are the gaps of knowledge that can be filled? We conducted a literature search of studies on the effect of logging on the bat fauna in tropical forests in the past decades. We surveyed the databases Web of Science, Google Scholar, and Scopus with different keyword combinations: “Bats OR Chiroptera”, “Logging”, “Selective logging”, “Timber extraction”, “Tropic”, “Forest”, and “Tropical Forest”. We found 22 studies focused on Latin America and Southeast Asia. Most studies (81.8%) only compared bat richness and abundance between logged and unlogged areas, where frugivorous bats responded positively to logging, whereas gleaning animalivores bats responded negatively. Few studies (18%) tried to understand how environmental variables, such as changes in vegetation structure, affect bat diversity. We emphasize that future studies aimed at checking the effects of logging on bats should use more than one sampling method in order to obtain more representative samples. Planning should be done with more caution, in order to avoid pseudoreplication and obtain more solid results. Poorly studied regions that have intensive logging, such as the Amazon and the tropical forests of Africa, should receive more attention.

Keywords
Biodiversity, Chiroptera, Sampling design, Selective logging, Timber extraction