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White-nose syndrome (WNS) is having an unprecedented impact on hibernating bat populations in the eastern United States. While most studies have focused on widespread mortality observed at winter hibernacula, few have examined the consequences of wing damage that has been observed among those bats that survive hibernation. Given that WNS-related wing damage may lead to life-threatening changes in wing function, we tested the hypothesis that reduced abundance of free-ranging little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) with severe wing damage as the summer progresses is due to healing of wing tissue. Photographs of captured and recaptured adult females were examined for wing damage and healing rates were calculated for each category of wing damage index (WDI = 0-3). We found that free-ranging bats with severe wing damage were able to heal to a lower WDI score within 2 weeks. Bats with the most severe wing damage had faster healing rates than did individuals with less damage. We also found a significant relationship between body condition and WDI for adult females captured in the early weeks of the active season. Our results support the hypothesis that some bats can heal from severe wing damage during the active season, and thus may not experience increased mortality associated with reduced functions of wings. We urge researchers and wildlife managers to use caution when interpreting data on WDI to assess the impact of WNS on bat populations, especially during the later months of the active season.
Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology, Department of Biology, Boston University, 5 Cummington Str, Boston, MA, 02215, USA, email@example.com.
This article was published in the following journal.
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A family of bacteria ranging from free living and saprophytic to parasitic and pathogenic forms.
A thermogenic form of adipose tissue composed of BROWN ADIPOCYTES. It is found in newborns of many species including humans, and in hibernating mammals. Brown fat is richly vascularized, innervated, and densely packed with MITOCHONDRIA which can generate heat directly from the stored lipids.
An autosomal dominant disorder of tooth development characterized by opalescent dentin resulting in discoloration of the teeth, ranging from dusky blue to brownish. The dentin is poorly formed with an abnormally low mineral content; the pulp canal is obliterated, but the enamel is normal. The teeth usually wear down rapidly, leaving short, brown stumps. (Dorland, 27th ed)
A chronic, congenital ichthyosis inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. Infants are usually born encased in a collodion membrane which sheds within a few weeks. Scaling is generalized and marked with grayish-brown quadrilateral scales, adherent at their centers and free at the edges. In some cases, scales are so thick that they resemble armored plate.
Microscopic fresh water algae in the family Chrysophyceae. They share many features with the BROWN ALGAE but are planktonic rather than benthic. Though most are photosynthetic, they are not considered truly autotrophic since they can become facultatively heterotrophic in the absence of adequate light. In this state they can feed on BACTERIA or DIATOMS.