FW: Why more bats mean cheaper coffee
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From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
On Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 11:50 AM
Subject: WBL: Why more bats mean cheaper coffee
Bats eat tropical insects, protecting coffee plantations
WASHINGTON - Bats play a bigger role than birds do in controlling
tropical insects, and the loss of bats might mean that morning cup of
coffee gets more expensive, researchers said on Thursday.
"Bats are impacting ecological systems in all kinds of ways, and I just
want them to get the credit they deserve," said Kimberly
Williams-Guillen, a tropical ecologist at the University of Michigan who
led one of the studies.
Williams-Guillen and colleagues studied bats at Finca Irlanda, a
740-acre (300-hectare) organic coffee plantation in Chiapas, Mexico.
In previous studies of insect damage, scientists have simply covered
plants to keep off birds and then counted the bugs and measured what
they ate. They forgot to account for what the bats did at night.
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