5 years ago

The bat community of Haiti and evidence for its long-term persistence at high elevations

J. Angel Soto-Centeno, David W. Steadman, Nancy B. Simmons

by J. Angel Soto-Centeno, Nancy B. Simmons, David W. Steadman

Accurate accounts of both living and fossil mammal communities are critical for creating biodiversity inventories and understanding patterns of changing species diversity through time. We combined data from from14 new fossil localities with literature accounts and museum records to document the bat biodiversity of Haiti through time. We also report an assemblage of late-Holocene (1600–600 Cal BP) bat fossils from a montane cave (Trouing Jean Paul, ~1825m) in southern Haiti. The nearly 3000 chiropteran fossils from Trouing Jean Paul represent 15 species of bats including nine species endemic to the Caribbean islands. The fossil bat assemblage from Trouing Jean Paul is dominated by species still found on Hispaniola (15 of 15 species), much as with the fossil bird assemblage from the same locality (22 of 23 species). Thus, both groups of volant vertebrates demonstrate long-term resilience, at least at high elevations, to the past 16 centuries of human presence on the island.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178066

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