26.2. 2019 – 25. 2. 2023
PI / SubBioLab Coordinator:
Organisations from 22 countries
Bats are sensitive to human-driven habitat alteration, and changes in temperature and water availability induced by climate change may affect their eco-physiology, distribution and ultimately survival. Climate change is therefore likely to influence European bat populations and affect insect consumption by bats in farmland, forests and urban areas, implying serious consequences for the conservation of European biodiversity as well as economy. However, little scientific work has addressed this issue, so we lack the knowledge to devise mitigation strategies. The Action fills this gap by pursuing the following objectives:
1) Define, predict and quantify the effects of climate change on bats across Europe, establishing how bats react to different climatic conditions, assessing the current magnitude of this impact, forecasting its future effects and establishing the roles played by life history traits and environmental factors.
2) Establish strategies to develop a network to monitor and predict changes in bat distribution and inform future management and policy. This will be achieved by selecting the best monitoring approaches, identifying a set of responsive bat species acting as indicators, and facilitating cooperation between scientists and relevant stakeholders.
3) Evaluate the effects of climate change on insectivory provided by bats in farmland by: a) estimating the importance of this ecosystem service across Europe for agricultural economy and society and monetise its current value; and b) modelling scenarios of distributional mismatch between bats and their pest prey under future climate change, also evaluating the economic consequences.
EU COST Programme (CA18107)