Structure of bat guano communities in a dry Brazilian cave

R. L. Ferreira, R. P. Martins, X. Prous


Physical, chemical and spatial variables of bat guano deposits (pH, percentage
of organic matter, distance from the cave entrance, area and shape of the
deposits) were analyzed with regard to the richness and abundance of arthropod
communities in Morrinho Cave, Bahia State, Brazil. In total, 12,356 individuals
were sampled, belonging to 85 morphospecies in at least 26 families of Acarina,
Araneida, Pseudoscorpionida, Isopoda, Coleoptera, Collembola, Diptera, Ensifera,
Heteroptera, Homoptera, Hymenoptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera, Neuroptera, Psocoptera,
Siphonaptera, Thysanoptera, and Zygentoma. Richness and diversity of
invertebrates were correlated with the area and distance from the cave entrance,
pH, organic content and moisture content of the guano piles. Communities associated
with bat guano are apparently more dependent on the guano microenvironment
itself than on the overall cave environment.

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