Bats Limit Insects in a Neotropical Agroforestry System

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Science  04 Apr 2008:
Vol. 320, Issue 5872, pp. 70
DOI: 10.1126/science.1152944

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Exclosure experiments have demonstrated the effects of bird predation on arthropods. In a Mexican coffee plantation, we excluded foliage-gleaning bird and bat predators from coffee plants. Effects of bats and birds were additive. In the dry season, birds reduced arthropods in coffee plants by 30%; birds and bats together reduced arthropods by 46%. In the wet season, bats reduced arthropods by 84%, whereas birds reduced them by only 58%. We conclude that previous "bird" exclosure experiments may have systematically underestimated the effects of bats.

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