Environmental and biological context modulates the physiological stress response of bats to human disturbance

Environmental and biological context modulates the physiological stress response of bats to human... Environmental and biological context play significant roles in modulating physiological stress responses of individuals in wildlife populations yet are often overlooked when evaluating consequences of human disturbance on individual health and fitness. Furthermore, most studies gauge individual stress responses based on a single physiological biomarker, typically circulating glucocorticoid concentrations, which limits interpretation of the complex, multifaceted responses of individuals to stressors. We selected four physiological biomarkers to capture short-term and prolonged stress responses in a widespread cave-roosting bat, Hipposideros diadema, across multiple gradients of human disturbance in and around caves in the Philip- pines. We used conditional inference trees and random forest analysis to determine the role of environmental quality (cave complexity, available roosting area), assemblage composition (intra- and interspecific associations and species richness), and intrinsic characteristics of individuals (sex and reproductive status) in modulating responses to disturbance. Direct cave disturbance (hunting pressure and human visitation) was the primary driver of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratios, with lower ratios associated with increased disturbance, while context-specific factors were more important in explaining total leukocyte count, body condition, and ectoparasite load. Moreover, conditional inference trees revealed complex interactions among human disturbance and modulating factors. Cave complexity often ameliorated individual responses to human disturbance, whereas http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oecologia Springer Journals

Environmental and biological context modulates the physiological stress response of bats to human disturbance

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Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Life Sciences; Ecology; Plant Sciences; Hydrology/Water Resources
ISSN
0029-8549
eISSN
1432-1939
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00442-018-4179-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Environmental and biological context play significant roles in modulating physiological stress responses of individuals in wildlife populations yet are often overlooked when evaluating consequences of human disturbance on individual health and fitness. Furthermore, most studies gauge individual stress responses based on a single physiological biomarker, typically circulating glucocorticoid concentrations, which limits interpretation of the complex, multifaceted responses of individuals to stressors. We selected four physiological biomarkers to capture short-term and prolonged stress responses in a widespread cave-roosting bat, Hipposideros diadema, across multiple gradients of human disturbance in and around caves in the Philip- pines. We used conditional inference trees and random forest analysis to determine the role of environmental quality (cave complexity, available roosting area), assemblage composition (intra- and interspecific associations and species richness), and intrinsic characteristics of individuals (sex and reproductive status) in modulating responses to disturbance. Direct cave disturbance (hunting pressure and human visitation) was the primary driver of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratios, with lower ratios associated with increased disturbance, while context-specific factors were more important in explaining total leukocyte count, body condition, and ectoparasite load. Moreover, conditional inference trees revealed complex interactions among human disturbance and modulating factors. Cave complexity often ameliorated individual responses to human disturbance, whereas

Journal

OecologiaSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 1, 2018

References

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