Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Alix D. Fink, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mark L. Fink, Ph.D

Third Advisor

Thomas S. B. Akre, Ph.D.


Forests of the southeastern U.S. are changing rapidly in species composition and extent of forest cover due to increasing conversion to pine (Pinus sp.) plantations , intensifying management practices, and expanding urbanization and sprawl. Questions related to the impacts of these changes on wild life species are of great conservation interest and management relevance. Highly mobile species with large home ranges and complex habitat requirements , such as bats, may be especially vulnerable to increasing human modification of landscapes. However, the impacts of such modifications on bat species are poorly understood . I sought to evaluate bat community structure and foraging activi ty in regenerating managed pine and mixed hardwood systems in the central the Southern Appalachian Piedmont Ecoregion (SAPE) of Virginia. I conducted this research in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest in June-August 2006 and May-August 2007. I sampled sites in both hardwood and managed pine systems across a range of ages and management strategies. In each site we established a sampling array consisting of a bat detector and an associated insect sampling location . I assessed bat activity ( 1800 to 0700 hours) with Anabat II bat detector systems, calculated mean bat passes per hour, and identified calls to genus or species. I collected and analyzed insect samples and assessed vegetation attributes using standard procedures. To understand factors affecting bat activity, I used an Information Theoretic approach to evaluate support for a suite of a priori models that included measures of habitat attributes, climate conditions, and prey availability . Some key findings for my a prior models include: the importance·of' stand age on both bat and insect activity in my study sites as well as weather conditions, like lunar cycle, temperature and humidity . My descriptive analyses suggested that there are species-specific effects for certain members of the bat community and their 'preferred ' insect prey orders between dominant vegetation type and stand age characteristics . Important management implications suggest the importance of having mixed-hardwood forest and pine plantations at various levels of succession to provide roosting and foraging locations for bat community members in the SAPE of Virginia, as well as to maintain high insect prey abundance.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.