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Less common synchronized rewarming in WNS tolerant bats as hibernation strategy

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BARTONIČKA Tomáš BLAŽEK Ján BANDOUCHOVA Hana BERKOVÁ Hana PIKULA Jiří ŘEHÁK Zdeněk ZUKAL Jan

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Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Přírodovědecká fakulta

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Popis Torpor bouts and arousals in hibernating bats need to be optimized according to the hibernaculum temperature and bat fat reserves. Clustering as a behavioural phenomenon which has significant physiological and ecological benefits promoting consequences for the successful hibernation of individuals. Aggregated bats probably maintain optimal temperature with lower costs then solitary hibernating bats that allows them to reduce energy consumption. However clustering could be also risky when aroused bats interfere with hibernating bats and those start energy-demanding awakening. Our study was conducted over two winters in two different hibernacula in the Czech Republic, where bats were previously diagnosed with WNS. The thermal behaviour of four hibernating clusters of greater mouse-eared bats (Myotis myotis) was recorded using thermographic cameras. Normothermic events (Tfnorm, 119 in total) were not more frequent at the end of the winter, as coccurs in North American bats that are affected by WNS. The most of normothermic events (60%) did not exceed 1.5 hours. We were not able to find any relationship between Tfnorm timing and sunset. Characteristics of Tfnorm significantly differ between winters and sites. Synchronized rewarmings were found in 17 (14%) of Tfnorms. During the winter there were constant number of cascades, but their percentage was the highest in the mid-March. Our results show differences in the hibernation of bats with WNS between the Czech Republic and North America and at the same time highlighting the specific role of climate and sites that fundamentally affect hibernation strategies.