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How to mitigate the effect of habitat fragmentation by roads and light pollution on bats? contributions of landscape ecology

Laforge, Alexis. How to mitigate the effect of habitat fragmentation by roads and light pollution on bats? contributions of landscape ecology. PhD, Agrosystèmes, Écosystèmes et Environnement, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2020, 287 p.

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Abstract

Landscape anthropization through habitat loss and fragmentation is one of the main threats to biodiversity. This PhD (CIFRE funding) was carried out in at INRAE Toulouse (Dynafor lab) in collaboration with the Conservatoire des Espaces Naturels de Midi-Pyrénées (CENMP). It aimed at a better understanding of the impacts of light pollution and road expansion on bats, two major and inevitable elements of anthropization, using a landscape ecology framework applied to bat conservation. This work is structured in 4 sections: (i) by means of an exhaustive review of bat telemetry studies in Europe and North America, I explored how landscape anthropization influenced bat mobility through mean home range sizes and commuting distances; (ii) using simultaneous acoustic sampling of bat communities at both edge and interior forest patches in 172 landscapes varying in terms of forest amount and road density, I analyzed how forest fragmentation and road network shaped the taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity of bat communities at multiple spatial scales; (iii) by developing models of species distribution and connectivity (least-cost path) at the scale of a large urban area, I assessed the effect of different street lighting extinction scenarios on landscape connectivity for three bat species; and(iv) using a field experiment, I tested the influence of landscape context around road underpasses on their use by bats and the efficiency of these structures in maintaining landscape connectivity while reducing the risk of collision with vehicles. While the first two sections of the PhD seek to better understand the mechanisms underlying the effects of landscape anthropization on bats, the last two axes are applied to their direct conservation by demonstrating how landscape ecology can contribute to improve existing measures.

Item Type:PhD Thesis
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Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
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Research Director:
Barbaro, Luc and Archaux, Frédéric
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Deposited On:15 Mar 2021 15:12

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