Research interests


  • Bioacoustics
  • Conservation biology
  • Plant animal interactions 

Scientific projects

Leptonycteris yerbabuenae and L. nivalis are two nectar-feeding bat species that are ecologically and morphologically very similar. Both occur sympatrically in central and northern Mexico (Arita and Humphrey, 1988). The main food of both species consists of pollen and nectar of tropical and subtropical plants that are adapted to bat pollination, especially columnar cacti (Cactaceae) and some species of Agave (Arita, 1991; Gardner, 1977b; Moreno-Valdez et al., 2004; Sanchez and Medellin, 2007; Valiente-Banuet et al., 1996). Both bat species appear to have similar feeding habitats and foraging strategies, whereby L. yerbabuenae mainly exploits plants in the lowlands, while L. nivalis feeds predominantly on highland species (Arita, 1991). It remains unclear, however, whether differences in sensory capabilities of both species contribute to the observed resource partitioning as recent studies on insectivorous bats have shown that differences in resource use can be associated with differences in the use of multiple sensory cues (echolocation, olfaction, vision, passive listening), even within groups of morphologically and ecologically similar species (Siemers and Schnitzler, 2004; Siemers and Swift, 2006)
Little is known about the sensorial ecology of nectar feeding bats in general (Helversen, 2004; Helversen et al., 2003; Simon et al., 2006) and almost nothing about the role of the sensorial abilities in niche partitioning of species with similar feeding habitats and foraging strategies.
The goal of my project is to investigate how the long-nosed bats of the genus Leptonycteris detect and localize open flowers, particularly of cacti and Agave plants, and to determine if there are differences in the sensory abilities of the two species in association with resource partitioning.

Publications

Gonzalez-Terrazas TP, Medellin R, Knörnschild M, Tschapka M (2012) Morphological specialization influences nectar extraction efficiency of sympatric nectar-feeding bats. J Exp Biol DOI: 10.1242/jeb.068494

Conference contributions

Gonzalez-Terrazas TP, Medellín RA, Knörnschild M, Tschapka M (2012) Morphological specialization influences nectar extraction efficiency of sympatric nectar-feeding bats. Annual Conference of the Society for Tropical Ecology (gtö), Erlangen, Germany, February 22 – 25, 2012

Gonzalez-Terrazas TP, Koblitz J, Tschapka M, Fleming TH, Medellin RA, Schnitzler H-U, Kalko EKV (2012) How nectar-feeding bats find food: role of echolocation of Leptonycteris yerbabuenae during foraging at cactus flowers. Annual Conference of the Society for Tropical Ecology (gtö), Erlangen, Germany, February 22 – 25, 2012

Gonzalez-Terrazas TP, Koblitz J, Tschapka M, Fleming TH, Medellin RA, Schnitzler H-U, Kalko EKV (2012) How nectar-feeding bats find food: echolocation behavior of the nectar-feeding bat Leptonycteris yerbabuenae (Phyllostomidae: Glossophaginae) during foraging at flowers. 14th International Behavioral Ecology Congress, Lund, Sweden, 12 -17 August, 2012

Gonzalez-Terrazas T P, Koblitz J, Tschapka M, Fleming T H, Medellín R, Schnitzler H-U, Kalko E K V (2010) Echolocation behaviour of the nectar-feeding bat Leptonycteris yerbabuenae approaching natural and modified flowers. Talk presented at the 15th International Bat Research Conference, Prague, Czech Republic

Gonzalez-Terrazas T P, Medellin R A, Tschapka M (2007) Nectar extraction capabilities of the specialized nectarivorous bat Musonycteris harrisoni. Talk presented in the 14th International Bat Research Conference (IBRC) & 37th North American Symposium on Bat Research (NASBR), Mérida, Yucatán

Gonzalez-Terrazas T P, Medellin R A (2006) Not industrialized Banana Plantations as Refuges for Nectar-Feeding Bats in Western Mexico. Talk presented in the 36th Annual North American Symposium on Bat Research, Wilmington, North Carolina

 

 

Contact

    Dr. Tania Paulina Gonzales-Terrazas
    Institute of Evolutionary Ecology
    and Conservation Genomics
    University of Ulm
    Albert Einstein Allee 11
    89081 Ulm
    Germany

    Email: tania.gonzalez()uni-ulm.de