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Investigations of the potential of old-growth forest stands in the Pfaelzerwald Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate as roosting habitats for tree-dwelling bats Mammalia Chiroptera Untersuchungen zum Quartierpotential fuer baumbewohnende Fledermausarten Mammalia Chiroptera in Altholzbestaenden des Pfaelzerwaldes BRD, Rhineland-Pfalz



Investigations of the potential of old-growth forest stands in the Pfaelzerwald Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate as roosting habitats for tree-dwelling bats Mammalia Chiroptera Untersuchungen zum Quartierpotential fuer baumbewohnende Fledermausarten Mammalia Chiroptera in Altholzbestaenden des Pfaelzerwaldes BRD, Rhineland-Pfalz



Fauna und Flora in Rheinland-Pfalz, 94: 1249-1262



In the course of a bat study, we investigated 32 old-growth stands (total area about 1,7 km2, 199-year-old on average) in the Pfaelzerwald. Tree hole mapping in search of potential bat roosting sites took place in winter 1998/1999. Altogether, we found 744 tree holes in 456 potential roost-site trees. The average tree hole density was 4,4 tree holes/ha, varying between zero and 19,2 tree holes/ha. Considering stand age and stem diameter at breast height, compared with the dispersal of tree hole densities, the influence of forest management becomes obvious. The most frequent tree hole exposition is south, apparently due to woodpecker activities. Up to now, no data about potential roosting sites for tree-dwelling bats were available for the study area. It remains unclear, whether the stated tree hole densities are sufficient. As a result of a three-years research and development project on "bats in forests", a minimum density of 25 - 30 tree holes/ha is recommended, which is not achieved in any of the investigated stands. We point out the importance of long-term availability of tree holes as a presupposition for the formation and continuance of roost-site traditions. Furthermore, we recommend to expand bat studies in forests by inquiries about natural tree hole densities, in order to achieve a more detailed survey of the roost-site potential of selected old-growth stands.

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