Recent developments in studies of the community structure, foraging ecology and conservation of Western Australian bats
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R. D. Bullen, N. L. McKenzie, 2011. "Recent developments in studies of the community structure, foraging ecology and conservation of Western Australian bats", The Biology and Conservation of Australasian Bats, Bradley Law, Peggy Eby, Daniel Lunney, Lindy Lumsden
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Surveys of microbat communities in several regions of Western Australia have revealed a diversity-productivity model of community structure in which co-occurring species occupy different foraging niches, but environmental factors influence turnover in species composition across landscapes.
Detailed studies of species airframe morphologies, echolocation call designs, wingbeat frequencies and amplitudes, and flight muscle masses have revealed that bat sensory systems and aerodynamic packages (including fur and flight muscles) are fully integrated and functionally appropriate to empirical data on flight speeds, foraging strategies and microhabitats.
We also report on progress towards the development of a general model for estimating species energy budgets and quantifying the deterministic relationships between their energetics, aerodynamics, geographical ranges and foraging niches.