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Waterfowl communities Zoology 14 February 2011 Donald Winslow.

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Presentation on theme: "Waterfowl communities Zoology 14 February 2011 Donald Winslow."— Presentation transcript:

1 Waterfowl communities Zoology 14 February 2011 Donald Winslow

2 What are waterfowl? Kingdom Animalia –Phylum Chordata Class Aves –Order Anseriformes »Family Anatidae (swans, geese, ducks)‏

3 Other waterbirds we may see Order Podicipediformes (grebes) Order Pelecaniformes (pelicans & cormorants) Order Ciconiiformes (herons & egrets) Order Falconiformes (e.g. Bald Eagle) Order Gruiformes (e.g. American Coot) Order Charadriiformes (shorebirds, gulls) Order Coraciiformes (kingfishers)

4 What is a community?

5 A group of individuals of different species interacting with each other.

6 Objective of waterfowl exercise: Determine how composition of waterbird communities are affected by size of lake, habitat, human disturbance, etc. As the size of a lake increases, the proportion of area where the water is deep increases. We would expect that birds that forage in deep water would have a higher relative abundance at larger lakes.

7 Dabbling and diving ducks Dabblers eat a lot of vegetation and tend to forage in shallow water near the shore. Diving ducks eat more fish and forage in deeper water.

8 What’s relative abundance? The proportion of individuals in a community that are a given species. Example: If there are 100 ducks and 70 of them are Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), the relative abundance of Mallards is 0.7.

9 Hypothesis: Bird species which forage in deep water would have higher relative abundance at a large lake than at a small lake. Prediction: Diving ducks would have a higher relative abundance at a large lake than at a small lake. Prediction: Dabbling ducks would have a higher relative abundance at a small lake than at a large lake.

10 Dabblers Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)‏ Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors)‏

11 Diving Ducks Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)‏ Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)‏

12 Study design Count waterbirds at lakes of varying size. Classify duck species as divers or dabblers. Classify other species by feeding habits or other relevant variables Determine whether predictions of hypothesis are met. Draw conclusions.

13 Resources online


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