Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

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Presentation Discussion

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    May 22, 2012 | 06:44 a.m.

    Do you have a sense of the typical foraging range for these bats? I am wondering if the bats (in each species) constitute in your study area a single population, or a metapopulation? I know some fruit bats forage very widely.

  • Icon for: Leslie Ruyle

    Leslie Ruyle

    May 22, 2012 | 09:35 a.m.

    Cool project! For how long of a time period are you measuring landscape change?

  • Icon for: Irene Shaver

    Irene Shaver

    May 22, 2012 | 01:49 p.m.

    Thanks Leslie! As for the social data collection I have questions about land use and migration history that go back until the person settled there which in most cases is 20 yrs (around 1980) but this obviously varies quite a bit depending on the household and when they moved to the frontier. For the ecological data, more with the work of Adina and Ricardo on functional plant traits, forest regeneration and ecosystem properties they are working on plots where there is 20+ years of previous data collection and are adding to those data bases through their data collection. As a team we are also analyzing land use change at a regional level from 1986- 2011 via remotely sensed images so we will be able to talk about change over that time period. Thanks for the question.

  • Icon for: Irene Shaver

    Irene Shaver

    May 22, 2012 | 02:24 p.m.

    I had my teammate Kate respond to this one as she is the wildlife ecologist.
    Yes, some radiotelemetry work has been done with both these species of bats, showing that the average roost-to-forage area for A.jamaicensis is 8km (Morrison 1978) and for C.castanea is 87m (Bonnacarso et al. 2006). So it is likely that the A.jamaicensis in each of the three study areas constitute a single population but the C.castanea constitute a metapopulation; the large difference in home range is why we chose these two species. The hypothesis we are testing for the landscape genetic work asks whether in a fragmented landscape A.jamaicensis is more capable of traveling between isolated forest patches than C.castanea, and if so, what are the implications for gene flow of the associated plant species that each bat species disperses.
    Thanks for the question!

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Icon for: Irene Shaver


University of Idaho
Years in Grad School: 2

Fragmented Forests embedded within the Agricultural Matrix: Evaluating Social-Ecological Interactions in the San Juan La Selva Biological Corridor, Costa Rica

Over the past century, millions of acres of tropical forests worldwide were converted to agriculture to meet the needs of growing human populations. This land use conversion created landscapes of mosaics where fragments of native forest are embedded in an agricultural matrix. In recent years, a new pattern, intensive plantation agriculture, is replacing subsistence crops, changing the heterogeneous composition of the matrix and infringing on remnant forest patches. To create a resilient balance between conservation and human needs in these landscapes, we must understand the links between remnant forest patches, the agricultural matrix, and the communities whose land use decisions determine matrix composition. We developed an interdisciplinary model to evaluate links between how humans shape land use in the agricultural matrix and how the matrix affects forest connectivity and ecosystem properties and processes in forest patches. We will use remotely sensed imagery and regional level data to test the hypothesis that communities with greater access to markets and environmental attributes that promote agricultural production will be surrounded by more fragmented forests. At the local scale, in communities representing a gradient of forest fragmentation, we will survey households and link their characteristics and decision making processes to land use outcomes within the matrix. We will measure the effects of land use change in the agricultural matrix on interrelated ecosystem components: connectivity and gene flow for mutualistic bat and tree species, forest regeneration patterns, plant community functional properties, and ecosystem service provision. This research generates insights into managing the balance between conservation and rural livelihoods in the face of global change.