Bats as biological controls: Insectivorous bats are predominant feeders of nocturnal flying insects, which include many that are agricultural pests and others that transmit specific pathogens to humans. In terms of numbers of insects consumed, a typical colony of 150 bats will eat more than a million insects each season.
Bats as pollinators: While some bats rely on the fruit and flowers of certain plants to survive, these plants also rely on bats to pollinate their flowers. It is known that over 500 plant species rely on bats to pollinate their flowers, including species of mango, banana, cocoa, guava etc.
Bats as seed dispersal: Some bats play a critical role in spreading the seeds of trees and other plants. Bats play important part in forest regeneration after habitat degradation. Some tropical fruit bats carry seeds inside them as they digest the fruit, and then excrete the seeds far away from the original tree. Bats like the Straw-coloured fruit bat (Eidolon helvum) for example is the sole dispersal of threatened tree species Milicia excelsa in Ghana.
Bats as biological indicators: Bats are excellent indicator group and thus have been used as ecological indicators of habitat quality. They are sensitive to human-induced changes to the ecosystems. For instance, insectivorous bats are highly sensitive to the use of agrochemicals such as pesticides, and changes in their abundance may reflect changes in the populations of arthropods that constitute their food. In addition, changes in bat numbers could suggest deterioration of environmental quality and climate change as these directly impact on their activity.