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Bat-Plant Interactions and their Vulnerability to Environmental Change

Speaker: Dr. Veronica Zamora-Gutierrez, Instituto Politécnico Nacional

Bats are the most important mammal pollinators, contributing to ecosystem health, crop production, and food security by pollinating ecologically and economically important plants through the tropics. However, little is known about the potential consequences of declining pollinating bat populations on plants and ecosystems. This is particularly important since bats are increasingly threatened worldwide due to several anthropogenic activities, among which climate and land use change are at the top of the list. The purpose of this seminar is to a) explore the importance of pollinating bats for the reproduction of chiropterophilous plants, and their role on the maintenance of yield and quality for bat-pollinated crops; b) describe the effects of environmental changes (climate and land use) on the disruption of bat-plant interactions. These aims will be addressed using as an example Mexico, one of the most biodiverse countries, and a hot spot of bat richness.