Date of Graduation

Fall 2009


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Lynn Robbins


red bat, Lasiurus borealis, winter, microclimate, habitat

Subject Categories



The eastern red bat, Lasiurus borealis, is a migratory tree-roosting bat that overwinters in southern Missouri. Red bats are known to roost in the foliage of trees and also under the leaf litter on the forest floor, which makes them vulnerable to predation and prescribed winter burns. During the winters of 2005-07, 33 red bats were radiotagged and tracked to diurnal roosts. Habitat variables were recorded around roost and random locations, and dataloggers were used to record temperatures at roost and non-roost sites. Tree (n = 52) and leaf litter (n = 49) roosts were found predominately on south facing slopes, with higher elevation and steeper slope than random locations. When found in trees, bats were primarily on the south side of young oaks with smaller dbh and height compared to random trees. Leaf litter roost sites were characterized by deeper leaf litter and greater percent leaf cover. Results from the temperature dataloggers suggest: 1) high-elevation, south-facing areas have warmer temperatures than any other area monitored; 2) the south side of trees is warmer than the north side; and 3) the leaf litter provides a buffer from extreme air temperatures. The majority of bats roosted in leaf litter when maximum daytime temperature was ≥ 14 C. The choice to roost in leaf-litter versus in trees is related to temperature and this should be considered during winter forest management.


© Joshua Robert Flinn

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