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Acoustic perception of landscape elements by the pond bat (Myotis dasycneme)

  • Ben Verboom (a1) (a2), Arjan M. Boonman (a2) (a3) and Herman J. G. A. Limpens (a4)

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that echolocating bats use landscape elements as acoustic landmarks. We predicted that bats should be able to perceive distant landscape elements using echolocation and hence change their echolocation behaviour in relation to these elements. Echolocation parameters of commuting pond bats Myotis dasycneme (Boie, 1825) were related to the bats' distance from banks of different sized canals. Pulse durations emitted while bats flew over canals of 13, 19, and 25 m wide increased successively. Interpulse intervals were equally long at 13, 19, and 25 m wide canals, but significantly longer at a 30 m wide canal. The mean interpulse interval used by bats flying along the midline of the 30 m wide canal was just sufficiently long to prevent overlap of an echo from the canal bank and a new outgoing pulse. The results indicate that pond bats perceive the canal banks by gradually adapting their pulse emissions to the distance to the banks. This suggests a role for the banks as acoustic landmarks.

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Corresponding author

All correspondence to: B. Verboom, Institute for Forestry and Nature Research, P.O. Box 23, NL-6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands. E-mail b.verboom@ibn.dlo.nl

Keywords

Acoustic perception of landscape elements by the pond bat (Myotis dasycneme)

  • Ben Verboom (a1) (a2), Arjan M. Boonman (a2) (a3) and Herman J. G. A. Limpens (a4)

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