Activity and diet of bats in conventional versus organic apple orchards in southern Michigan
This study is summarised as evidence for the following.
Use organic farming instead of conventional farmingAction Link
Use organic farming instead of conventional farming
A replicated, site comparison study in 2009–2010 at four organic and four conventional apple orchards in Michigan, USA (Long & Kurta 2014) found that organic orchards had similar bat activity, number of bat captures and species diversity as conventional orchards. The average number of bat passes recorded did not differ significantly between organic (37 bat passes/night) and conventional orchards (51 bat passes/night). The number of bats captured also did not differ significantly between organic (1.5 captures/night) and conventional orchards (2.2 captures/night). The same was true for species diversity (data reported as the Simpson’s Index). Four bat species were recorded (see original reference for data for individual species). Four organic and four conventional apple orchards (small dwarf or semi-dwarf varieties, 6–24 ha in size) were surveyed between June and August 2009, and May and August 2010. One bat detector/orchard recorded nightly bat activity, and was moved to random locations within each orchard each week. Mist netting was carried out 3–5 times/week at one orchard/night for four hours from sunset.