Interspecies variation in the risks of metals to bats

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A modeling framework was used to assess the risk of four metals to UK bat species. Eight species of bats were predicted to be "at risk" from one or more of the metals in over 5% of their ranges. Species differed significantly in their predicted risk. Contamination by Pb was found to pose the greatest risk, followed by Cu, Cd and Zn. A sensitivity analysis identified the proportion of invertebrates ingested as most important in determining the risk. We then compared the model predictions with a large dataset of metals concentrations in the tissues (liver, kidney) of Pipistrellus sp. from across England and Wales. Bats found in areas predicted to be the most "at risk" contained higher metal concentrations in their tissues than those found in areas predicted "not at risk" by the model. Our spatially explicit modeling framework provides a useful tool for further environmental risk assessment studies for wildlife species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2015

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