Publication update 26: The critical importance of fruit bats!

We’re super excited to make yet another publication announcement so soon after our first one from Project Pteropus Phase 2!

A massive labour of love first started by Sheema in 2013, this second paper from us is another literature review – this time looking at bat-plant interactions that have been documented for the Old World over the 1985-2020 period (36 years’ worth of research!). Published as part of the special issue ‘Animal Seed Dispersal: An Ecosystem Service In Crisis’, it’s fully open access, which means it can be read online, or the PDF file can be downloaded for free.

Old Word fruit bats are from one single family, Pteropodidae (the old taxonomic term “megabat” is now obsolete, and should not be used anymore). We found 311 papers/studies that covered 75 out of the currently documented 201 pteropodid species, conducted in 47 countries. Pteropodid bats were recorded feeding on a whopping 1072 plant species (at least!); dispersing seeds of 311 plant species, and pollinating flowers of 21 plant species. But there’s still a lot more we don’t know, and still so much more research that needs to be done to aid bat conservation. Special thanks to Anna Traveset for the invitation to publish, and Ricardo Rocha and Merlin Tuttle for acting as peer reviewers for our manuscript!

For the full breakdown, including extensive supplementary material, access our paper here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2021.641411/full

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