Behavioural context of multi-scale species distribution models assessed by radio-tracking

Mathieu G. Lundy*, Daniel J. Buckley, Emma Boston, David D. Scott, Paulo Prodöhl, Ferdia Marnell, Emma C. Teeling, W. Ian Montgomery

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Incorporating ecological processes and animal behaviour into Species Distribution Models (SDMs) is difficult. In species with a central resting or breeding place, there can be conflict between the environmental requirements of the 'central place' and foraging habitat. We apply a multi-scale SDM to examine habitat trade-offs between the central place, roost sites, and foraging habitat in . Myotis nattereri. We validate these derived associations using habitat selection from behavioural observations of radio-tracked bats. A Generalised Linear Model (GLM) of roost occurrence using land cover variables with mixed spatial scales indicated roost occurrence was positively associated with woodland on a fine scale and pasture on a broad scale. Habitat selection of radio-tracked bats mirrored the SDM with bats selecting for woodland in the immediate vicinity of individual roosts but avoiding this habitat in foraging areas, whilst pasture was significantly positively selected for in foraging areas. Using habitat selection derived from radio-tracking enables a multi-scale SDM to be interpreted in a behavioural context. We suggest that the multi-scale SDM of . M. nattereri describes a trade-off between the central place and foraging habitat. Multi-scale methods provide a greater understanding of the ecological processes which determine where species occur and allow integration of behavioural processes into SDMs. The findings have implications when assessing the resource use of a species at a single point in time. Doing so could lead to misinterpretation of habitat requirements as these can change within a short time period depending on specific behaviour, particularly if detectability changes depending on behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalBasic and Applied Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2012


  • Central place forager
  • Habitat selection
  • Multi-scale modelling
  • Myotis nattereri
  • Radio telemetry
  • Species Distribution Modelling (SDM)
  • BATS

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Behavioural context of multi-scale species distribution models assessed by radio-tracking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this