The lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) was once a widespread species in Europe. However, it has experienced significant downsizing, whose causes are not yet well identified. Among various hypotheses, that of the reduction and fragmentation of habitats of specific species was chosen. A effet, the lesser horseshoe bat is unusual to move along linear landscape elements, such as hedgerows or wood edging. The Landscape connectivity seems to be a major factor in the maintenance of the species.
In this context,My thesis project is, in a first portion, to characterize the functional connectivity of the habitat of lesser horseshoe bat using the graph method landscaped to assess its role in the distribution of the species in Franche-Comte. The second part of the thesis is a study of the spatial genetic structure of colonies that will closely analyze the role of landscape on the spread of genes, and hence the ability of colonies to maintain some genetic mixing.
A terme, these results are intended to predict the impact of changes in landscape connectivity on populations of small horseshoe bats, in the example, establishment of the transport infrastructure.
Pierline (PhD in landscape ecology, University of Franche-Comte)