We used nitrogen isotope analysis from pectoral muscle of the Egyptian fruit bat Rousettus aegyptiacus (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) to determine intrapopulation variation in sources of dietary protein throughout the year in northern Israel. In Mediterranean climates, winter and summer are stable seasons, whereas spring and fall are transitional seasons. Number of species of fruit-bearing plants is higher during the transitional periods, and we therefore predicted that intrapopulation variation would be higher during spring than in winter and summer; we made no prediction for fall because sample size was small. We also reconstructed sources of dietary protein for each individual using nitrogen isotope ratios (δ15N) to determine whether individuals foraged on the same sources of food within each season. Intrapopulation variation in δ15N was significantly higher in spring (δ15N range: 9.7–17.5‰) compared to winter (8.8–11.1‰) and summer (9.5–11.2‰), suggesting that individuals during this period varied more in their use of protein sources. Dietary reconstruction revealed intrapopulation partitioning among the bats in the use of plant food items, and interspecific partitioning among plants in their dependence on dispersal by bats.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.