Date of Graduation

Spring 2012

Degree

Master of Science in Biology

Department

Biology

Committee Chair

Lynn Robbins

Keywords

Indiana bat, wind turbine, mortality, population, modeling

Subject Categories

Biology

Abstract

With the continuing development of wind energy within the range of the Indiana bat, and the anticipated deaths due to these turbines, there is an increasing need to understand the effects of this additional mortality on Indiana bat populations. This thesis describes and evaluates the potential effects of wind turbine related mortality on Indiana bat populations over time. Leslie matrix models were used to estimate the growth or decline of a population over time under different scenarios of mortality levels, starting population sizes, methods of incorporating mortality and carrying capacities. Density-independent, density-dependent fecundity and density-dependent survival Leslie matrix models were developed and run. Results suggest that, depending on the model used, and the method by which mortality is incorporated, the effect of mortality on the population varies greatly. Overall, annual mortality values  0.95% to 44.62% of the initial population size did not cause the hypothetical populations to go extinct. It is recommended that stochasticity be incorporated into each of these models to address environmental (both spatially and temporally), individual (genetic or phenotypic), and demographic variation if possible. The methods described in this thesis will remain unverified until a wind energy facility is built in the range of Indiana bats, pre and post-construction data are collected, and a corresponding population monitoring project is conducted for the life of the wind energy facility.

Copyright

© Shannon Elizabeth Romeling

Campus Only

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