Diet diversification shapes broad-scale distribution patterns in European bats

Antton Alberdi, Orly Razgour, Ostaizka Aizpurua, Roberto Novella-Fernandez, Joxerra Aihartza, Ivana Budinski, Inazio Garin, Carlos Ibáñez, Eñaut Izagirre, Hugo Rebelo, Danilo Russo, Anton Vlaschenko, Violeta Zhelyazkova, Vida Zrncic, M Thomas P Gilbert

Jul 18, 2019
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Date Received: 4th July 19

Large-scale species’ distributions have been traditionally attributed to physiological traits related to abiotic factors, while behavioural features linked to biotic interactions have received little attention. We tested the relationship between trophic and spatial niche breadths through combining species distribution modelling with dietary DNA metabarcoding of over 400 bats sampled across Europe belonging to seven species. Our results point to a causality cascade between hunting plasticity, trophic niche breadth and spatial niche breadth, and thus indicate that behavioral plasticity and dietary diversification can contribute to shaping broad-scale species distributions.

Read in full at bioRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature