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Activity Pattern and Correlation between Bat and Insect Abundance at Wind Turbines in South Sweden

de Jong, Johnny and Millon, Lara and Håstad, Olle and Victorsson, Jonas (2021). Activity Pattern and Correlation between Bat and Insect Abundance at Wind Turbines in South Sweden. Animals. 11 , 3269
[Research article]

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Abstract

Simple Summary:& nbsp;Wind power is an important energy system in the global transition towards renewable energy. As new wind farms are erected in increasing numbers, they will have an impact on many organisms, e.g., through habitat changes and collision mortalities. In this study, we measure bat activity, insect abundance, and weather conditions to test the hypothesis that insect abundance attracts bats to wind turbines because of feeding opportunities. We found that the relationship between insect abundance and bat activity was relatively weak, providing some support for the feeding-attraction hypothesis. However, we also found a strong correlation between bat passes and weather conditions. This suggests that stop-regulation based on weather conditions might be a solution to avoid collisions. However, this study highlights some of the problems with defining the limits for stop-regulation, as bat activity may be high also at relatively high wind speeds and low temperatures.& nbsp;We present data on species composition and activity of bats during two years at three different wind- turbines, located in south Sweden, both at the base and nacelle height. To test the hypothesis that bats are attracted to wind turbines because of feeding opportunities, insects were sampled at nacelle height at one wind turbine using a suction trap, simultaneously as bat activity were measured. At this wind turbine, we also compared two different technical systems for ultrasound recordings and collect meteorological data. The variation in bat activity was high between nights and between wind turbines. In addition to the expected open-air foraging species (Pipistrellus, Nyctalus, Vespertilio and Eptesicus), some individuals of unexpected species (Myotis, Barbastella, and Plecotus) were found at nacelle height. There was a weak but significant positive relation between bat activity and insect abundance, so the hypothesis could not be rejected, suggesting there might be other factors than insect abundance explaining the frequency of bat visits at the nacelle. We found a strong correlation between bat passes and weather conditions. A reasonable way to mitigate collisions is with stop-regulation. However, this study highlights some of the problems with defining the limits for stop-regulation based on weather conditions.

Authors/Creators:de Jong, Johnny and Millon, Lara and Håstad, Olle and Victorsson, Jonas
Title:Activity Pattern and Correlation between Bat and Insect Abundance at Wind Turbines in South Sweden
Series Name/Journal:Animals
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:11
Article number:3269
Number of Pages:15
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:2076-2615
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Renewable Bioenergy Research
Keywords:wind-power, bat activity, Chiroptera, insect abundance, stop-regulation
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-115008
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-115008
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3390/ani11113269
Web of Science (WoS)000727275100001
ID Code:26415
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
University administration
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:23 Dec 2021 12:25
Metadata Last Modified:23 Dec 2021 12:31

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