Journal of Tropical Ecology

Bat community structure at Iwokrama Forest, Guyana

a1 Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen's Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2C6


With 86 species, Iwokrama Forest in central Guyana has the highest reported bat biodiversity for a protected area in the world. Using standardized capture data for 73 of these 86 species, we document community structure of bats in terms of species diversity, relative abundance, gross biomass, feeding guilds, vertical stratification and a trophic-size niche matrix. Based on faunal surveys in 1997, with similar amounts of effort in the forest canopy and at ground level, the greater fruit-eating bat (Artibeus lituratus) was by far the most ecologically dominant species in terms of frequency of capture and biomass. In total, frugivores comprised 70% of the species diversity and 78% of the biomass. The most common species of bat were fully partitioned in a resource niche matrix of size and trophic guild when vertical stratification was included as a variable. We conclude that resource partitioning and species packing differentially affect relative size in tropical bats, and are better summarized and analysed in three dimensions.

(Accepted February 22 2001)

Key Words: biomass; feeding guilds; niche matrix; relative abundance; species diversity; vertical stratification.

c1 To whom correspondence should be addressed.