Effects of agroecosystems on insect and insectivorous bat activity: a preliminary finding based on light trap and mist net captures


Abstract: This study investigated the effects of agroecosystems on predator-prey activities. Therefore, bats and insects were sampled from various agroecosystems using mist netting and light trapping techniques. A generalized linear model was then employed to analyze some biotic and abiotic factors' effects on insect and insectivorous bat activities. The results indicate that agroecosystems and lunar cycles have significant effects on insect activity (Lepidopteran, Dipteran, and total insect activity) and insectivorous bat activity (Hipposideros jonesi, Hipposideros aff. Ruber, and overall insectivorous bat activity). Generally, inorganic farms recorded the least insect and insectivorous bat activity, while fallow lands and teak plantations obtained higher levels of activity for all analyses. In addition, our findings suggest that activity levels of both insects and insectivorous bats follow a lunar cycle. While the effect of temperature (overall insect activity, P = 0.7474; overall insectivorous bat activity, P = 0.7310) was not significant, wind speed (P = 0.0102) had a significantly negative relationship with total insectivorous bat activity. Additionally, there was a positive correlation between total insect and insectivorous bat activity (P = 0.0190). This study emphasizes the negative effects of agricultural intensification on insectivorous bat and insect activities, and thus indicates the importance of fallow lands and woodlots for conservation.

Keywords: Agricultural land, fallow land, arthropod, chiropteran, moon phase, Ghana

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