Brazilian Journal of Biology
Print version ISSN 1519-6984
MELO, BES et al. Energy reserves of Artibeus lituratus (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) in two areas with different degrees of conservation in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2012, vol.72, n.1, pp. 181-187. ISSN 1519-6984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842012000100022.
Forest fragmentation associated with the expansion of human development is a phenomenon that occurs worldwide. Studies reveal that there have been both a decline in species diversity and a decrease in Neotropical bat population size because of habitat loss. The aim of this study was to investigate whether human action has been affecting the food availability to wildlife species, which could impact the storage of body energy reserves. For this purpose, fruit-eating bats (Artibeus lituratus) were collected in two areas in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The concentrations of plasma glucose, as well as glycogen, lipids and protein in liver in muscles were performed, in addition to adipose tissue weight and carcass fatty acids. Our results indicate that fat reserves were significantly lower in most tested tissues (muscle of the hindlimbs, breast muscles, adipose tissue and carcass) in animals collected in the region with a higher degree of human disturbance. The other parameters showed no significant differences in the groups collected at different locations. In conclusion, we suggest that human action on the environment may be affecting the storage of body fat energy reserves of this species during the autumn, particularly in metropolitan region areas of Belo Horizonte, MG - Brazil, requiring special attention to the species conservation.
Keywords : bats; glucose; metabolism; forest fragmentation.