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Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 45.2 (2022) Pages: 245-256

¿Las diferencias ecomorfológicas predicen la coexistencia de murciélagos cavernícolas en Cuba?

Ferrer-Sánchez, Y., Denis, D.





Do ecomorphological differences predict the co–existence of cave bats in Cuba?

Identifying mechanisms that influence the coexistence of species is primordial to understanding patterns and processes in biodiversity. Here we aimed to assess the association between coexistence and morphology of cave bats in Cuba and differences in morphologic and dietary aspects. We assembled lists of species from 108 localities with at least three co–inhabiting species. Fourteen species of bats in at least three localities were included. Based on the literature we also obtained the mean values of five morphological variables and the basic composition of diet. We calculated coexistence patterns using EcoSim v7.72 based on the average number of checkerboard units that appeared between each pair of species. We evaluated the predictive capacity of the morphological variables and diet over the degree of coexistence between species using a neural regression network. The best neural network was accepted (correlation of 0.87, training error < 0.006). The prediction error was 13.5 % (± 1.1) of the value of the coexistence index. Our findings indicate that the composition of cave bat assemblages in Cuba has not come about by chance. Rather, we found that the most functionally different species tended to coexist. This finding is consistent with the effect of competitive relationships driving the composition of species of cave bats in Cuba.


Coexistence, Competitive exclusion, Chiroptera, Caves, Biodiversity


Ferrer-Sánchez, Y., Denis, D., 2022. ¿Las diferencias ecomorfológicas predicen la coexistencia de murciélagos cavernícolas en Cuba?. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 45: 245-256, DOI:

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