Conspecific disturbance contributes to altered hibernation patterns in bats with white-nose syndrome

James M. Turner, Lisa Warnecke, Alana Wilcox, Dylan Baloun, Trent K. Bollinger, Vikram Misra, Craig K. R. Willis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The emerging wildlife disease white-nose syndrome (WNS) affects both physiology and behaviour of hibernatingbats. Infection with the fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), the first pathogen known to targettorpid animals, causes an increase in arousal frequency during hibernation, and therefore premature depletion ofenergy stores. Infected bats also show a dramatic decrease in clustering behaviour over the winter. To investigatethe interaction between disease progression and torpor expression we quantified physiological (i.e., timing ofarousal, rewarming rate) and behavioural (i.e., arousal synchronisation, clustering) aspects of rewarming eventsover four months in little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) experimentally inoculated with Pd. We tested two competing hypotheses: 1) Bats adjust arousal physiology adaptively to help compensate for an increase in energetically expensive arousals. This hypothesis predicts that infected bats should increase synchronisation of arousalswith colony mates to benefit from social thermoregulation and/or that solitary bats will exhibit faster rewarmingrates than clustered individuals because rewarming costs fall as rewarming rate increases. 2) As for the increasein arousal frequency, changes in arousal physiology and clustering behaviour are maladaptive consequences ofinfection. This hypothesis predicts no effect of infection or clustering behaviour on rewarming rate and that disturbance by normothermic bats contributes to the overall increase in arousal frequency. We found that arousalsof infected bats became more synchronised than those of controls as hibernation progressed but the pattern wasnot consistent with social thermoregulation. When a bat rewarmed from torpor, it was often followed in sequence by up to seven other bats in an arousal “cascade”. Moreover, rewarming rate did not differ between infected and uninfected bats, was not affected by clustering and did not change over time. Our results supportour second hypothesis and suggest that disturbance, not social thermoregulation, explains the increased synchronisation of arousals. Negative pathophysiological effects of WNS on energy conservation may therefore becompounded by maladaptive changes in behaviour of the bats, accelerating fat depletion and starvation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume140
Early online date04 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2015

Cite this

Turner, James M. ; Warnecke, Lisa ; Wilcox, Alana ; Baloun, Dylan ; Bollinger, Trent K. ; Misra, Vikram ; Willis, Craig K. R. / Conspecific disturbance contributes to altered hibernation patterns in bats with white-nose syndrome. In: Physiology and Behavior. 2015 ; Vol. 140. pp. 71-78.
@article{161f6ae631c44cdda05c4add5a694e2a,
title = "Conspecific disturbance contributes to altered hibernation patterns in bats with white-nose syndrome",
abstract = "The emerging wildlife disease white-nose syndrome (WNS) affects both physiology and behaviour of hibernatingbats. Infection with the fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), the first pathogen known to targettorpid animals, causes an increase in arousal frequency during hibernation, and therefore premature depletion ofenergy stores. Infected bats also show a dramatic decrease in clustering behaviour over the winter. To investigatethe interaction between disease progression and torpor expression we quantified physiological (i.e., timing ofarousal, rewarming rate) and behavioural (i.e., arousal synchronisation, clustering) aspects of rewarming eventsover four months in little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) experimentally inoculated with Pd. We tested two competing hypotheses: 1) Bats adjust arousal physiology adaptively to help compensate for an increase in energetically expensive arousals. This hypothesis predicts that infected bats should increase synchronisation of arousalswith colony mates to benefit from social thermoregulation and/or that solitary bats will exhibit faster rewarmingrates than clustered individuals because rewarming costs fall as rewarming rate increases. 2) As for the increasein arousal frequency, changes in arousal physiology and clustering behaviour are maladaptive consequences ofinfection. This hypothesis predicts no effect of infection or clustering behaviour on rewarming rate and that disturbance by normothermic bats contributes to the overall increase in arousal frequency. We found that arousalsof infected bats became more synchronised than those of controls as hibernation progressed but the pattern wasnot consistent with social thermoregulation. When a bat rewarmed from torpor, it was often followed in sequence by up to seven other bats in an arousal “cascade”. Moreover, rewarming rate did not differ between infected and uninfected bats, was not affected by clustering and did not change over time. Our results supportour second hypothesis and suggest that disturbance, not social thermoregulation, explains the increased synchronisation of arousals. Negative pathophysiological effects of WNS on energy conservation may therefore becompounded by maladaptive changes in behaviour of the bats, accelerating fat depletion and starvation.",
keywords = "Torpor, Hibernation, Myotis lucifugus, White-nose syndrome, Rewarming rate, Behaviour",
author = "Turner, {James M.} and Lisa Warnecke and Alana Wilcox and Dylan Baloun and Bollinger, {Trent K.} and Vikram Misra and Willis, {Craig K. R.}",
year = "2015",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.12.013",
language = "English",
volume = "140",
pages = "71--78",
journal = "Physiology and Behavior",
issn = "0031-9384",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Conspecific disturbance contributes to altered hibernation patterns in bats with white-nose syndrome. / Turner, James M.; Warnecke, Lisa; Wilcox, Alana; Baloun, Dylan; Bollinger, Trent K.; Misra, Vikram; Willis, Craig K. R.

In: Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 140, 01.03.2015, p. 71-78.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Conspecific disturbance contributes to altered hibernation patterns in bats with white-nose syndrome

AU - Turner, James M.

AU - Warnecke, Lisa

AU - Wilcox, Alana

AU - Baloun, Dylan

AU - Bollinger, Trent K.

AU - Misra, Vikram

AU - Willis, Craig K. R.

PY - 2015/3/1

Y1 - 2015/3/1

N2 - The emerging wildlife disease white-nose syndrome (WNS) affects both physiology and behaviour of hibernatingbats. Infection with the fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), the first pathogen known to targettorpid animals, causes an increase in arousal frequency during hibernation, and therefore premature depletion ofenergy stores. Infected bats also show a dramatic decrease in clustering behaviour over the winter. To investigatethe interaction between disease progression and torpor expression we quantified physiological (i.e., timing ofarousal, rewarming rate) and behavioural (i.e., arousal synchronisation, clustering) aspects of rewarming eventsover four months in little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) experimentally inoculated with Pd. We tested two competing hypotheses: 1) Bats adjust arousal physiology adaptively to help compensate for an increase in energetically expensive arousals. This hypothesis predicts that infected bats should increase synchronisation of arousalswith colony mates to benefit from social thermoregulation and/or that solitary bats will exhibit faster rewarmingrates than clustered individuals because rewarming costs fall as rewarming rate increases. 2) As for the increasein arousal frequency, changes in arousal physiology and clustering behaviour are maladaptive consequences ofinfection. This hypothesis predicts no effect of infection or clustering behaviour on rewarming rate and that disturbance by normothermic bats contributes to the overall increase in arousal frequency. We found that arousalsof infected bats became more synchronised than those of controls as hibernation progressed but the pattern wasnot consistent with social thermoregulation. When a bat rewarmed from torpor, it was often followed in sequence by up to seven other bats in an arousal “cascade”. Moreover, rewarming rate did not differ between infected and uninfected bats, was not affected by clustering and did not change over time. Our results supportour second hypothesis and suggest that disturbance, not social thermoregulation, explains the increased synchronisation of arousals. Negative pathophysiological effects of WNS on energy conservation may therefore becompounded by maladaptive changes in behaviour of the bats, accelerating fat depletion and starvation.

AB - The emerging wildlife disease white-nose syndrome (WNS) affects both physiology and behaviour of hibernatingbats. Infection with the fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), the first pathogen known to targettorpid animals, causes an increase in arousal frequency during hibernation, and therefore premature depletion ofenergy stores. Infected bats also show a dramatic decrease in clustering behaviour over the winter. To investigatethe interaction between disease progression and torpor expression we quantified physiological (i.e., timing ofarousal, rewarming rate) and behavioural (i.e., arousal synchronisation, clustering) aspects of rewarming eventsover four months in little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) experimentally inoculated with Pd. We tested two competing hypotheses: 1) Bats adjust arousal physiology adaptively to help compensate for an increase in energetically expensive arousals. This hypothesis predicts that infected bats should increase synchronisation of arousalswith colony mates to benefit from social thermoregulation and/or that solitary bats will exhibit faster rewarmingrates than clustered individuals because rewarming costs fall as rewarming rate increases. 2) As for the increasein arousal frequency, changes in arousal physiology and clustering behaviour are maladaptive consequences ofinfection. This hypothesis predicts no effect of infection or clustering behaviour on rewarming rate and that disturbance by normothermic bats contributes to the overall increase in arousal frequency. We found that arousalsof infected bats became more synchronised than those of controls as hibernation progressed but the pattern wasnot consistent with social thermoregulation. When a bat rewarmed from torpor, it was often followed in sequence by up to seven other bats in an arousal “cascade”. Moreover, rewarming rate did not differ between infected and uninfected bats, was not affected by clustering and did not change over time. Our results supportour second hypothesis and suggest that disturbance, not social thermoregulation, explains the increased synchronisation of arousals. Negative pathophysiological effects of WNS on energy conservation may therefore becompounded by maladaptive changes in behaviour of the bats, accelerating fat depletion and starvation.

KW - Torpor

KW - Hibernation

KW - Myotis lucifugus

KW - White-nose syndrome

KW - Rewarming rate

KW - Behaviour

U2 - 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.12.013

DO - 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.12.013

M3 - Article

VL - 140

SP - 71

EP - 78

JO - Physiology and Behavior

JF - Physiology and Behavior

SN - 0031-9384

ER -