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Bat's fruit selection: preference or opportunism?

Grant number: 07/03415-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2007
Effective date (End): December 31, 2008
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal researcher:Marco Aurelio Ribeiro de Mello
Grantee:Tiago Yamazaki Andrade
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Following predictions of the optimal foraging theory, an animal should exhibit strategies for searching, selecting and handling food, which aim to maximize the difference between the expenditure and gain of energy in each activity. Through the present project I will test if specialist frugivorous bat species of the subfamilies Carolliinae and Stenodermatinae (family Phyllostomidae) optimize their foraging, selecting fruits according to a preference ranking, independently of the availability of each fruit species. To test this hypothesis, I will subject each individual bat to an experiment with two treatments: (1) native fruits in equal abundances, or (2) native fruits in different abundances. In both cases, I will offer native fruits in pairs of species, one considered to be preferred, and the other considered to be secondary, and I will register which was selected first. I will make comparisons between treatments for each bat species, and also compare different species. I expect to observe a selection pattern similar to dietary patterns observed in the wild, meaning that there is in fact a preference by bats, and not only an opportunistic diet.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
KERCHES-ROGERI, PATRICIA; NIEBUHR, BERNARDO BRANDAO; MUYLAERT, RENATA LARA; MELLO, MARCO AURELIO RIBEIRO. Individual specialization in the use of space by frugivorous bats. Journal of Animal Ecology, v. 89, n. 11, p. 2584-2595, . (18/20695-7, 07/03415-6, 15/17739-4, 14/24219-4, 07/03405-0)
ANDRADE, TIAGO Y.; THIES, WIBKE; ROGERI, PATRICIA K.; KALKO, ELISABETH K. V.; MELLO, MARCO A. R.. Hierarchical fruit selection by Neotropical leaf-nosed bats (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae). JOURNAL OF MAMMALOGY, v. 94, n. 5, p. 1094-1101, . (07/03405-0, 07/03415-6)

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