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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 148106, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/148106
Research Article

Forest Succession and Maternity Day Roost Selection by Myotis septentrionalis in a Mesophytic Hardwood Forest

1Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
2US Geological Survey, Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
3Environmental Laboratory, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180, USA
4Pennsylvania Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110, USA

Received 17 May 2012; Revised 24 July 2012; Accepted 26 July 2012

Academic Editor: Brian C. McCarthy

Copyright © 2012 Alexander Silvis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Conservation of summer maternity roosts is considered critical for bat management in North America, yet many aspects of the physical and environmental factors that drive roost selection are poorly understood. We tracked 58 female northern bats (Myotis septentrionalis) to 105 roost trees of 21 species on the Fort Knox military reservation in north-central Kentucky during the summer of 2011. Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) was used as a day roost more than expected based on forest stand-level availability and accounted for 48.6% of all observed day roosts. Using logistic regression and an information theoretic approach, we were unable to reliably differentiate between sassafras and other roost species or between day roosts used during different maternity periods using models representative of individual tree metrics, site metrics, topographic location, or combinations of these factors. For northern bats, we suggest that day-roost selection is not a function of differences between individual tree species per se, but rather of forest successional patterns, stand and tree structure. Present successional trajectories may not provide this particular selected structure again without management intervention, thereby suggesting that resource managers take a relatively long retrospective view to manage current and future forest conditions for bats.