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Sample records for bar-tailed godwit limosa

  1. Contrasting extreme long-distance migration patterns in bar-tailed godwits Limosa lapponica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Battley, Phil F.; Warnock, Nils; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Gill, Robert E., Jr.; Piersma, Theunis; Hassell, Chris J.; Douglas, David C.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Gartrell, Brett D.; Schuckard, Rob; Melville, David S.; Riegen, Adrian C.

    2012-01-01

    Migrating birds make the longest non-stop endurance flights in the animal kingdom. Satellite technology is now providing direct evidence on the lengths and durations of these flights and associated staging episodes for individual birds. Using this technology, we compared the migration performance of two subspecies of bar-tailed godwit Limosa lapponica travelling between non-breeding grounds in New Zealand (subspecies baueri) and northwest Australia (subspecies menzbieri) and breeding grounds in Alaska and eastern Russia, respectively. Individuals of both subspecies made long, usually non-stop, flights from non-breeding grounds to coastal staging grounds in the Yellow Sea region of East Asia (average 10 060 ± SD 290 km for baueri and 5860 ± 240 km for menzbieri). After an average stay of 41.2 ± 4.8 d, baueri flew over the North Pacific Ocean before heading northeast to the Alaskan breeding grounds (6770 ± 800 km).Menzbieri staged for 38.4 ± 2.5 d, and flew over land and sea northeast to high arctic Russia (4170 ± 370 km). The post-breeding journey for baueri involved several weeks of staging in southwest Alaska followed by non-stop flights across the Pacific Ocean to New Zealand (11 690 km in a complete track) or stopovers on islands in the southwestern Pacific en route to New Zealand and eastern Australia. By contrast, menzbieri returned to Australia via stopovers in the New Siberian Islands, Russia, and back at the Yellow Sea; birds travelled on average 4510 ± 360 km from Russia to the Yellow Sea, staged there for 40.8 ± 5.6 d, and then flew another 5680–7180 km to Australia (10 820 ± 300 km in total). Overall, the entire migration of the single baueri godwit with a fully completed return track totalled 29 280 km and involved 20 d of major migratory flight over a round-trip journey of 174 d. The entire migrations of menzbieri averaged 21 940 ± 570 km, including 14 d of major migratory flights out of 154 d total. Godwits of both populations exhibit extreme flight performance, and bauerimakes the longest (southbound) and second-longest (northbound) non-stop migratory flights documented for any bird. Both subspecies essentially make single stops when moving between non-breeding and breeding sites in opposite hemispheres. This reinforces the critical importance of the intertidal habitats used by fuelling godwits in Australasia, the Yellow Sea, and Alaska.

  2. Midazolam as an adjunctive therapy for capture myopathy in Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri) with prognostic indicators.

    PubMed

    Ward, Janelle M; Gartrell, Brett D; Conklin, Jesse R; Battley, Phil F

    2011-10-01

    Capture myopathy is a complication of capture and handling in many species of birds and mammals. Muscular necrosis leads to ataxia, paralysis, and pain, whereas metabolic disturbances can result in death. We conducted an opportunistic clinical trial on Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri) that developed capture myopathy after a cannon-net capture in New Zealand in October 2008. We assessed the beneficial effects of midazolam, a benzodiazepine with the effects of anxiolysis, muscle relaxation, and sedation, in the adjunctive treatment of capture myopathy. Physical and biochemical parameters were analyzed retrospectively for their potential as indicators for survival until release. Birds (n=16) were treated with subcutaneous fluid therapy, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (meloxicam), gavage feeding, and sling therapy twice daily. The treatment group (n=8) was treated twice daily with intramuscular midazolam injections, 1.5 mg/kg. Surviving godwits were released over 1-9 days, with 6 of 8 treated birds (75%) surviving to release, compared with 3 of 8 controls (38%). Inability to counteract weight loss in captivity was the most significant problem for both groups. Lack of waterproofing and predation were contributing causes of death for at least two godwits after release. Birds treated with midazolam showed subjective benefits including improved tolerance of handling and sling therapy. Clinical parameters (change in body mass, packed cell volume [PCV], plasma creatine kinase [CK], aspartate aminotransferase [AST], total protein, and uric acid [UA] over time) were not statistically different between groups, although peak average values for CK, AST, and UA were lower in the treatment group. Decline in body mass (%), PCV, final plasma UA, and peak plasma CK were the most useful prognostic indicators. Midazolam shows potential as an ancillary treatment for capture myopathy in birds and is worthy of continued study and use. PMID:22102663

  3. Coelomic implantation of satellite transmitters in the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) and the bristle-thighed curlew (Numenius tahitiensis) using propofol, bupivacaine, and lidocaine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Gartrell, Brett D.; Gill, Robert E., Jr.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.

    2011-01-01

    Intravenous propofol was used as a general anesthetic with a 2?1 (mg?mg) adjunctive mixture of lidocaine and bupivacaine as local anesthetics infiltrated into the surgical sites for implantation of satellite transmitters into the right abdominal air sac of 39 female and 4 male bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri and Limosa lapponica menzbeiri) and 11 female and 12 male bristle-thighed curlews (Numenius tahitiensis). The birds were captured on nesting grounds in Alaska, USA, and on overwintering areas in New Zealand and Australia from 2005 through 2008. As it was developed, the mass of the transmitter used changed yearly from a low of 22.4 ± 0.2 g to a high of 27.1 ± 0.2 g and weighed 25.1 ± 0.2 g in the final year. The mean load ratios ranged from 5.2% to 7.7% for godwits and from 5.7% to 7.5% for curlews and exceeded 5% for all years, locations, and genders of both species. The maximum load ratio was 8.3% for a female bar-tailed godwit implanted in Australia in 2008. Three godwits and no curlews died during surgery. Most birds were hyperthermic upon induction but improved during surgery. Two godwits (one in New Zealand and one in Australia) could not stand upon release, likely due to capture myopathy. These birds failed to respond to treatment and were euthanized. The implanted transmitters were used to follow godwits through their southern and northern migrations, and curlews were followed on their southern migration.

  4. Geographic variation in morphology of Alaska-breeding Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica) is not maintained on their nonbreeding grounds in New Zealand

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conklin, J.R.; Battley, Phil F.; Potter, M.A.; Ruthrauff, D.R.

    2011-01-01

    Among scolopacid shorebirds, Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica) have unusually high intra- and intersexual differences in size and breeding plumage. Despite historical evidence for population structure among Alaska-breeding Bar-tailed Godwits (L. l. baueri), no thorough analysis, or comparison with the population's nonbreeding distribution, has been undertaken. We used live captures, field photography, museum specimens, and individuals tracked from New Zealand to describe geographic variation in size and plumage within the Alaska breeding range. We found a north-south cline in body size in Alaska, in which the smallest individuals of each sex occurred at the highest latitudes. Extent of male breeding plumage (proportion of nonbreeding contour feathers replaced) also increased with latitude, but female breeding plumage was most extensive at mid-latitudes. This population structure was not maintained in the nonbreeding season: morphometrics of captured birds and timing of migratory departures indicated that individuals from a wide range of breeding latitudes occur in each region and site in New Zealand. Links among morphology, phenology, and breeding location suggest the possibility of distinct Alaska breeding populations that mix freely in the nonbreeding season, and also imply that the strongest selection for size occurs in the breeding season. ?? 2011 The American Ornithologists' Union.

  5. SYNTHESIS OF WESTERN WILLET (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus inornatus) MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa), AND UPLAND SANDPIPER (Bartramia

    E-print Network

    SYNTHESIS OF WESTERN WILLET (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus inornatus) MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa semipalmatus inornatus) MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa), AND UPLAND SANDPIPER (Bartramia longicauda) RESEARCH semipalmatus inornatus) MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa), AND UPLAND SANDPIPER (Bartramia longicauda) RESEARCH

  6. Hemispheric-scale wind selection facilitates bar-tailed godwit circum-migration of the Pacific

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gill, Robert E., Jr.; Douglas, David C.; Handel, Colleen M.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Hufford, Gary; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    The annual 29?000 km long migration of the bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica baueri, around the Pacific Ocean traverses what is arguably the most complex and seasonally structured atmospheric setting on Earth. Faced with marked variation in wind regimes and storm conditions across oceanic migration corridors, individuals must make critical decisions about when and where to fly during nonstop flights of a week's duration or longer. At a minimum, their decisions will affect wind profitability and thus reduce energetic costs of migration; in the extreme, poor decisions or unpredictable weather events will risk survival. We used satellite telemetry to track the annual migration of 24 bar-tailed godwits and analysed their flight performance relative to wind conditions during three major migration legs between nonbreeding grounds in New Zealand and breeding grounds in Alaska. Because flight altitudes of birds en route were unknown, we modelled flight efficiency at six geopotential heights across each migratory segment. Birds selected departure dates when atmospheric conditions conferred the greatest wind assistance both at departure and throughout their flights. This behaviour suggests that there exists a cognitive mechanism, heretofore unknown among migratory birds, that allows godwits to assess changes in weather conditions that are linked (i.e. teleconnected) across widely separated atmospheric regions. Godwits also showed adaptive flexibility in their response not only to cues related to seasonal changes in macrometeorology, such as spatial shifting of storm tracks and temporal periods of cyclogenesis, but also to cues associated with stochastic events, especially at departure sites. Godwits showed limits to their response behaviours, however, especially relative to rapidly developing stochastic events while en route. We found that flight efficiency depended significantly upon altitude and hypothesize that godwits exhibit further adaptive flexibility by varying flight altitude en route to optimize flight efficiency.

  7. Patterns in Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA Reveal Historical and Recent Isolation in the Black-Tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

    PubMed Central

    Trimbos, Krijn B.; Doorenweerd, Camiel; Kraaijeveld, Ken; Musters, C. J. M.; Groen, Niko M.; de Knijff, Peter; Piersma, Theunis; de Snoo, Geert R.

    2014-01-01

    On the basis of morphological differences, three subspecies of Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) have been recognized (L. l. limosa, L. l. islandica and L. l. melanuroides). In previous studies mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence data showed minimal genetic divergence between the three subspecies and an absence of sub-structuring within L. l. limosa. Here, population genetic structure and phylogeographic patterns have been analyzed using COI, HVR1 and HVR2 mtDNA sequence data as well as 12 microsatellite loci (nuDNA). The nuDNA data suggest genetic differentiation between L. l. limosa from Sweden and The Netherlands, between L. l. limosa and L. l. islandica, but not between L. l. limosa and L. l. melanuroides. However, the mtDNA data were not consistent with the nuDNA pattern. mtDNA did support a split between L. l. melanuroides and L. l. limosa/L. l. islandica and also demonstrated two L. l. limosa haplotype clusters that were not geographically isolated. This genetic structure can be explained by a scenario of isolation of L. l. melanuroides from L. l. limosa in Beringia during the Last Glacial Maximum. During the Pleistocene separation of L. l. islandica from L. l. limosa occurred, followed by colonization of Iceland by the L. l. islandica during the Holocene. Within L. l. limosa founder events, followed by population expansion, took place during the Holocene also. According to the patterns observed in both markers together and their geographic separation, we propose that the three traditional subspecies indeed represent three separate genetic units. PMID:24416186

  8. Transfer of heavy metals in the food chain earthworm Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa): comparison of a polluted and a reference site in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Roodbergen, Maja; Klok, Chris; van der Hout, Annemariet

    2008-12-01

    The Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) is a migratory wader that favours wet meadows for breeding. The species has a Red List status in The Netherlands, as it strongly declined in numbers since the 1960s. Intensification of agriculture and land use change resulting in habitat loss are considered major causes of this decline. In some areas the breeding habitat is contaminated with heavy metals. Adult godwits mainly feed on earthworms in the breeding season, which are known to accumulate heavy metals from the soil. In this paper we investigate the transfer of heavy metals from the soil to the Black-tailed godwit, which may have an additive negative effect on the viability of local populations. We measured heavy metal concentrations in soil, earthworms, and godwit eggs and feathers at a polluted and a reference site. The results suggest that Lead, Mercury and Cadmium are transferred from the soil to godwits even though the species spends only a few months in the breeding area during the year. PMID:18752837

  9. Lead poisoning of a marbled godwit

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Locke, L.N.; Smith, M.R.; Windingstad, R.M.; Martin, S.J.

    1991-01-01

    A thin adult female marbled godwit (Limosa fedoa) found dead at Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Montana, was found to have 17 ingested lead shot in its gizzard. Its liver contained 51.7 ppm lead (wet weight). Based on these necropsy findings a diagnosis of lead poisoning was made.

  10. When Siberia came to the Netherlands: the response of continental black-tailed godwits to a rare spring weather event.

    PubMed

    Senner, Nathan R; Verhoeven, Mo A; Abad-Gómez, José M; Gutiérrez, Jorge S; Hooijmeijer, Jos C E W; Kentie, Rosemarie; Masero, José A; Tibbitts, T Lee; Piersma, Theunis

    2015-09-01

    1. Extreme weather events have the potential to alter both short- and long-term population dynamics as well as community- and ecosystem-level function. Such events are rare and stochastic, making it difficult to fully document how organisms respond to them and predict the repercussions of similar events in the future. 2. To improve our understanding of the mechanisms by which short-term events can incur long-term consequences, we documented the behavioural responses and fitness consequences for a long-distance migratory bird, the continental black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa limosa, resulting from a spring snowstorm and three-week period of record low temperatures. 3. The event caused measurable responses at three spatial scales - continental, regional and local - including migratory delays (+19 days), reverse migrations (>90 km), elevated metabolic costs (+8·8% maintenance metabolic rate) and increased foraging rates (+37%). 4. There were few long-term fitness consequences, however, and subsequent breeding seasons instead witnessed high levels of reproductive success and little evidence of carry-over effects. 5. This suggests that populations with continued access to food, behavioural flexibility and time to dissipate the costs of the event can likely withstand the consequences of an extreme weather event. For populations constrained in one of these respects, though, extreme events may entail extreme ecological consequences. PMID:26033015

  11. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Sex-specific intertidal habitat use in subtropically wintering Bar-tailed Godwits

    E-print Network

    Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. #12;Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. #12;Reproduced with permission

  12. Shorebird community variations indicative of a general perturbation in the Mont-Saint-Michel bay (France).

    PubMed

    Eybert, Marie-Christine; Geslin, Thomas; Questiau, Sophie; Feunteun, Eric

    2003-08-01

    The Mont-Saint-Michel bay located on the East Atlantic Flyway is the first site in France for wintering shorebirds, with, on average, 53,000 individuals in January. Seven species represent 96% of that community: dunlin (Calidris alpina), knot (Calidris canutus), oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus), curlew (Numenius arquata), grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola), bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) and black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa). The international bird census organised by Wetlands International in mid-January gave us the opportunity to study, for a 23 years period, population variations in the bay. Despite a quite good carrying capacity, we showed that the decreasing proportion of 4 species in the bay relative to the other French populations may indicate a general perturbation of the bay. We discuss the different hypotheses to explain that observation. PMID:14558463

  13. Sex-specific winter distribution in a sexually dimorphic shorebird is explained by resource partitioning

    PubMed Central

    Duijns, Sjoerd; van Gils, Jan A; Spaans, Bernard; ten Horn, Job; Brugge, Maarten; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) implies correlated differences in energetic requirements and feeding opportunities, such that sexes will face different trade-offs in habitat selection. In seasonal migrants, this could result in a differential spatial distribution across the wintering range. To identify the ecological causes of sexual spatial segregation, we studied a sexually dimorphic shorebird, the bar-tailed godwit Limosa lapponica, in which females have a larger body and a longer bill than males. With respect to the trade-offs that these migratory shorebirds experience in their choice of wintering area, northern and colder wintering sites have the benefit of being closer to the Arctic breeding grounds. According to Bergmann's rule, the larger females should incur lower energetic costs per unit of body mass over males, helping them to winter in the cold. However, as the sexes have rather different bill lengths, differences in sex-specific wintering sites could also be due to the vertical distribution of their buried prey, that is, resource partitioning. Here, in a comparison between six main intertidal wintering areas across the entire winter range of the lapponica subspecies in northwest Europe, we show that the percentage of females between sites was not correlated with the cost of wintering, but was positively correlated with the biomass in the bottom layer and negatively with the biomass in the top layer. We conclude that resource partitioning, rather than relative expenditure advantages, best explains the differential spatial distribution of male and female bar-tailed godwits across northwest Europe. PMID:25505527

  14. Phenotype-limited distributions: short-billed birds move away during times that prey bury deeply.

    PubMed

    Duijns, Sjoerd; van Gils, Jan A; Smart, Jennifer; Piersma, Theunis

    2015-06-01

    In our seasonal world, animals face a variety of environmental conditions in the course of the year. To cope with such seasonality, animals may be phenotypically flexible, but some phenotypic traits are fixed. If fixed phenotypic traits are functionally linked to resource use, then animals should redistribute in response to seasonally changing resources, leading to a 'phenotype-limited' distribution. Here, we examine this possibility for a shorebird, the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica; a long-billed and sexually dimorphic shorebird), that has to reach buried prey with a probing bill of fixed length. The main prey of female bar-tailed godwits is buried deeper in winter than in summer. Using sightings of individually marked females, we found that in winter only longer-billed individuals remained in the Dutch Wadden Sea, while the shorter-billed individuals moved away to an estuary with a more benign climate such as the Wash. Although longer-billed individuals have the widest range of options in winter and could therefore be selected for, counterselection may occur during the breeding season on the tundra, where surface-living prey may be captured more easily with shorter bills. Phenotype-limited distributions could be a widespread phenomenon and, when associated with assortative migration and mating, it may act as a precursor of phenotypic evolution. PMID:26543585

  15. Phenotype-limited distributions: short-billed birds move away during times that prey bury deeply

    PubMed Central

    Duijns, Sjoerd; van Gils, Jan A.; Smart, Jennifer; Piersma, Theunis

    2015-01-01

    In our seasonal world, animals face a variety of environmental conditions in the course of the year. To cope with such seasonality, animals may be phenotypically flexible, but some phenotypic traits are fixed. If fixed phenotypic traits are functionally linked to resource use, then animals should redistribute in response to seasonally changing resources, leading to a ‘phenotype-limited’ distribution. Here, we examine this possibility for a shorebird, the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica; a long-billed and sexually dimorphic shorebird), that has to reach buried prey with a probing bill of fixed length. The main prey of female bar-tailed godwits is buried deeper in winter than in summer. Using sightings of individually marked females, we found that in winter only longer-billed individuals remained in the Dutch Wadden Sea, while the shorter-billed individuals moved away to an estuary with a more benign climate such as the Wash. Although longer-billed individuals have the widest range of options in winter and could therefore be selected for, counterselection may occur during the breeding season on the tundra, where surface-living prey may be captured more easily with shorter bills. Phenotype-limited distributions could be a widespread phenomenon and, when associated with assortative migration and mating, it may act as a precursor of phenotypic evolution. PMID:26543585

  16. Extreme endurance flights by landbirds crossing the Pacific Ocean: ecological corridor rather than barrier?

    PubMed Central

    Gill, Robert E.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Douglas, David C.; Handel, Colleen M.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Gottschalck, Jon C.; Warnock, Nils; McCaffery, Brian J.; Battley, Philip F.; Piersma, Theunis

    2008-01-01

    Mountain ranges, deserts, ice fields and oceans generally act as barriers to the movement of land-dependent animals, often profoundly shaping migration routes. We used satellite telemetry to track the southward flights of bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri), shorebirds whose breeding and non-breeding areas are separated by the vast central Pacific Ocean. Seven females with surgically implanted transmitters flew non-stop 8117–11?680?km (10?153±1043 s.d.) directly across the Pacific Ocean; two males with external transmitters flew non-stop along the same corridor for 7008–7390?km. Flight duration ranged from 6.0 to 9.4 days (7.8±1.3 s.d.) for birds with implants and 5.0 to 6.6 days for birds with externally attached transmitters. These extraordinary non-stop flights establish new extremes for avian flight performance, have profound implications for understanding the physiological capabilities of vertebrates and how birds navigate, and challenge current physiological paradigms on topics such as sleep, dehydration and phenotypic flexibility. Predicted changes in climatic systems may affect survival rates if weather conditions at their departure hub or along the migration corridor should change. We propose that this transoceanic route may function as an ecological corridor rather than a barrier, providing a wind-assisted passage relatively free of pathogens and predators. PMID:18974033

  17. Extreme endurance flights by landbirds crossing the Pacific Ocean: Ecological corridor rather than barrier?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gill, R.E., Jr.; Tibbitts, T.L.; Douglas, D.C.; Handel, C.M.; Mulcahy, D.M.; Gottschalck, J.C.; Warnock, N.; McCaffery, B.J.; Battley, Phil F.; Piersma, T.

    2009-01-01

    Mountain ranges, deserts, ice fields and oceans generally act as barriers to the movement of land-dependent animals, often profoundly shaping migration routes. We used satellite telemetry to track the southward flights of bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri), shorebirds whose breeding and non-breeding areas are separated by the vast central Pacific Ocean. Seven females with surgically implanted transmitters flew non-stop 8117-11680km (10153??1043 s.d.) directly across the Pacific Ocean; two males with external transmitters flew non-stop along the same corridor for 7008-7390km. Flight duration ranged from 6.0 to 9.4 days (7.8??1.3 s.d.) for birds with implants and 5.0 to 6.6 days for birds with externally attached transmitters. These extraordinary non-stop flights establish new extremes for avian flight performance, have profound implications for understanding the physiological capabilities of vertebrates and how birds navigate, and challenge current physiological paradigms on topics such as sleep, dehydration and phenotypic flexibility. Predicted changes in climatic systems may affect survival rates if weather conditions at their departure hub or along the migration corridor should change. We propose that this transoceanic route may function as an ecological corridor rather than a barrier, providing a wind-assisted passage relatively free of pathogens and predators. ?? 2008 The Royal Society.

  18. Estuaries Vol. 21, No. 48, p. 700-709 December 1998 The Effect of Migratory Shorebirds on the Benthic Species of

    E-print Network

    Carrete, Martina

    godwit (Limosa humus&z), American golden plover (PZutialisdominica), and White-rumped sandpiper (CaZi&is fuscicollis), and in Celpa the most abundant shorebirds were White-rumped sandpiper, two-banded plover (Charac shorebirds in Samlborombon were white-rumped sandpiper and two-banded plover. No effect was detected in Bahia

  19. Individual specialization in a shorebird population with narrow foraging niche

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catry, Teresa; Alves, José A.; Gill, Jennifer A.; Gunnarsson, Tómas G.; Granadeiro, José P.

    2014-04-01

    Individual specialization in resource use is a widespread driver for intra-population trait variation, playing a crucial evolutionary role in free-living animals. We investigated the individual foraging specialization of Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa islandica) during the wintering period. Godwits displayed distinct degrees of individual specialization in diet and microhabitat use, indicating the presence of both generalist and specialist birds. Females were overall more specialist than males, primarily consuming polychaetes. Specialist males consumed mainly bivalves, but some individuals also specialized on gastropods or polychaetes. Sexual dimorphism in bill length is probably important in determining the differences in specialization, as longer-billed individuals have access to deep-buried polychaetes inaccessible to most males. Different levels of specialization within the same sex, unrelated to bill length, were also found, suggesting that mechanisms other traits are involved in explaining individual specialization. Godwits specialized on bivalves achieved higher intake rates than non-specialist birds, supporting the idea that individual foraging choices or skills result in different short-term payoffs within the same population. Understanding whether short-term payoffs are good indicators of long-term fitness and how selection operates to favour the prevalence of specialist or generalist godwits is a major future challenge.

  20. Functional ecology of saltglands in shorebirds: Flexible responses to variable environmental conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gutierrez, J.S.; Dietz, M.W.; Masero, J.A.; Gill, R.E.; Dekinga, A.; Battley, Phil F.; Sanchez-Guzman, J. M.; Piersma, T.

    2012-01-01

    Birds of marine environments have specialized glands to excrete salt, the saltglands. Located on the skull between the eyes, the size of these organs is expected to reflect their demand, which will vary with water turnover rates as a function of environmental (heat load, salinity of prey and drinking water) and organismal (energy demand, physiological state) factors. On the basis of inter- and intraspecific comparisons of saltgland mass (m sg) in 29 species of shorebird (suborder Charadrii) from saline, fresh and mixed water habitats, we assessed the relative roles of organism and environment in determining measured m sg species. The allometric exponent, scaling dry m sg to shorebird total body mass (m b), was significantly higher for coastal marine species (0??88, N=19) than for nonmarine species (0??43, N=14). Within the marine species, those ingesting bivalves intact had significantly higher m sg than species eating soft-bodied invertebrates, indicating that seawater contained within the shells added to the salt load. In red knots (Calidris canutus), dry m sg varied with monthly averaged ambient temperature in a U-shaped way, with the lowest mass at 12??5??C. This probably reflects increased energy demand for thermoregulation at low temperatures and elevated respiratory water loss at high temperatures. In fuelling bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica), dry m sg was positively correlated with intestine mass, an indicator of relative food intake rates. These findings suggest once more that saltgland masses vary within species (and presumably individuals) in relation to salt load, that is a function of energy turnover (thermoregulation and fuelling) and evaporative water needs. Our results support the notion that m sg is strongly influenced by habitat salinity, and also by factors influencing salt load and demand for osmotically free water including ambient temperature, prey type and energy intake rates. Saltglands are evidently highly flexible organs. The small size of saltglands when demands are low suggests that any time costs of adjustment are lower than the costs of maintaining a larger size in this small but essential piece of metabolic machinery. ?? 2011 The Authors. Functional Ecology ?? 2011 British Ecological Society.

  1. Depletion models can predict shorebird distribution at different spatial scales.

    PubMed Central

    Gill, J. A.; Sutherland, W. J.; Norris, K.

    2001-01-01

    Predicting the impact of habitat change on populations requires an understanding of the number of animals that a given area can support. Depletion models enable predictions of the numbers of individuals an area can support from prey density and predator searching efficiency and handling time. Depletion models have been successfully employed to predict patterns of abundance over small spatial scales, but most environmental change occurs over large spatial scales. We test the ability of depletion models to predict abundance at a range of scales with black-tailed godwits, Limosa limosa islandica. From the type II functional response of godwits to their prey, we calculated the handling time and searching efficiency associated with these prey. These were incorporated in a depletion model, together with the density of available prey determined from surveys, in order to predict godwit abundance. Tests of these predictions with Wetland Bird Survey data from the British Trust for Ornithology showed significant correlations between predicted and observed densities at three scales: within mudflats, within estuaries and between estuaries. Depletion models can thus be powerful tools for predicting the population size that can be supported on sites at a range of scales. This greatly enhances our confidence in predictions of the consequences of environmental change. PMID:11270433

  2. Effects of management practices on grassland birds: Marbled Godwit

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dechant, Jill A.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.; Euliss, Betty R.

    1998-01-01

    Information on the habitat requirements and effects of habitat management on grassland birds were summarized from information in more than 5,500 published and unpublished papers. A range map is provided to indicate the relative densities of the species in North America, based on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Although birds frequently are observed outside the breeding range indicated, the maps are intended to show areas where managers might concentrate their attention. It may be ineffectual to manage habitat at a site for a species that rarely occurs in an area. The species account begins with a brief capsule statement, which provides the fundamental components or keys to management for the species. A section on breeding range outlines the current breeding distribution of the species in North America, including areas that could not be mapped using BBS data. The suitable habitat section describes the breeding habitat and occasionally microhabitat characteristics of the species, especially those habitats that occur in the Great Plains. Details on habitat and microhabitat requirements often provide clues to how a species will respond to a particular management practice. A table near the end of the account complements the section on suitable habitat, and lists the specific habitat characteristics for the species by individual studies. A special section on prey habitat is included for those predatory species that have more specific prey requirements. The area requirements section provides details on territory and home range sizes, minimum area requirements, and the effects of patch size, edges, and other landscape and habitat features on abundance and productivity. It may be futile to manage a small block of suitable habitat for a species that has minimum area requirements that are larger than the area being managed. The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is an obligate brood parasite of many grassland birds. The section on cowbird brood parasitism summarizes rates of cowbird parasitism, host responses to parasitism, and factors that influence parasitism, such as nest concealment and host density. The impact of management depends, in part, upon a species' nesting phenology and biology. The section on breeding-season phenology and site fidelity includes details on spring arrival and fall departure for migratory populations in the Great Plains, peak breeding periods, the tendency to renest after nest failure or success, and the propensity to return to a previous breeding site. The duration and timing of breeding varies among regions and years. Species' response to management summarizes the current knowledge and major findings in the literature on the effects of different management practices on the species. The section on management recommendations complements the previous section and summarizes specific recommendations for habitat management provided in the literature. If management recommendations differ in different portions of the species' breeding range, recommendations are given separately by region. The literature cited contains references to published and unpublished literature on the management effects and habitat requirements of the species. This section is not meant to be a complete bibliography; for a searchable, annotated bibliography of published and unpublished papers dealing with habitat needs of grassland birds and their responses to habitat management, use the Grassland and Wetland Birds Bibliography on the home page of this resource.

  3. Sex promotes spatial and dietary segregation in a migratory shorebird during the non-breeding season.

    PubMed

    Catry, Teresa; Alves, José A; Gill, Jennifer A; Gunnarsson, Tómas G; Granadeiro, José P

    2012-01-01

    Several expressions of sexual segregation have been described in animals, especially in those exhibiting conspicuous dimorphism. Outside the breeding season, segregation has been mostly attributed to size or age-mediated dominance or to trophic niche divergence. Regardless of the recognized implications for population dynamics, the ecological causes and consequences of sexual segregation are still poorly understood. We investigate the foraging habits of a shorebird showing reversed sexual dimorphism, the black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa, during the winter season, and found extensive segregation between sexes in spatial distribution, microhabitat use and dietary composition. Males and females exhibited high site-fidelity but differed in their distributions at estuary-scale. Male godwits (shorter-billed) foraged more frequently in exposed mudflats than in patches with higher water levels, and consumed more bivalves and gastropods and fewer polychaetes than females. Females tended to be more frequently involved and to win more aggressive interactions than males. However, the number of aggressions recorded was low, suggesting that sexual dominance plays a lesser role in segregation, although its importance cannot be ruled out. Dimorphism in the feeding apparatus has been used to explain sex differences in foraging ecology and behaviour of many avian species, but few studies confirmed that morphologic characteristics drive individual differences within each sex. We found a relationship between resource use and bill size when pooling data from males and females. However, this relationship did not hold for either sex separately, suggesting that differences in foraging habits of godwits are primarily a function of sex, rather than bill size. Hence, the exact mechanisms through which this segregation operates are still unknown. The recorded differences in spatial distribution and resource use might expose male and female to distinct threats, thus affecting population dynamics through differential mortality. Therefore, population models and effective conservation strategies should increasingly take sex-specific requirements into consideration. PMID:22479448

  4. Sex Promotes Spatial and Dietary Segregation in a Migratory Shorebird during the Non-Breeding Season

    PubMed Central

    Catry, Teresa; Alves, José A.; Gill, Jennifer A.; Gunnarsson, Tómas G.; Granadeiro, José P.

    2012-01-01

    Several expressions of sexual segregation have been described in animals, especially in those exhibiting conspicuous dimorphism. Outside the breeding season, segregation has been mostly attributed to size or age-mediated dominance or to trophic niche divergence. Regardless of the recognized implications for population dynamics, the ecological causes and consequences of sexual segregation are still poorly understood. We investigate the foraging habits of a shorebird showing reversed sexual dimorphism, the black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa, during the winter season, and found extensive segregation between sexes in spatial distribution, microhabitat use and dietary composition. Males and females exhibited high site-fidelity but differed in their distributions at estuary-scale. Male godwits (shorter-billed) foraged more frequently in exposed mudflats than in patches with higher water levels, and consumed more bivalves and gastropods and fewer polychaetes than females. Females tended to be more frequently involved and to win more aggressive interactions than males. However, the number of aggressions recorded was low, suggesting that sexual dominance plays a lesser role in segregation, although its importance cannot be ruled out. Dimorphism in the feeding apparatus has been used to explain sex differences in foraging ecology and behaviour of many avian species, but few studies confirmed that morphologic characteristics drive individual differences within each sex. We found a relationship between resource use and bill size when pooling data from males and females. However, this relationship did not hold for either sex separately, suggesting that differences in foraging habits of godwits are primarily a function of sex, rather than bill size. Hence, the exact mechanisms through which this segregation operates are still unknown. The recorded differences in spatial distribution and resource use might expose male and female to distinct threats, thus affecting population dynamics through differential mortality. Therefore, population models and effective conservation strategies should increasingly take sex-specific requirements into consideration. PMID:22479448

  5. Impacts of man-made landscape features on numbers of estuarine waterbirds at low tide.

    PubMed

    Burton, Niall H K; Armitage, Michael J S; Musgrove, Andrew J; Rehfisch, Mark M

    2002-12-01

    The potential impact of human disturbance on wintering waterbirds using intertidal mudflats was considered by relating their numbers to the presence of nearby footpaths, roads, railroads, and towns. Data were obtained for six English estuaries from the Wetland Bird Survey Low Tide Count scheme. Counts were undertaken monthly from November to February, and data were available for an average of 2.8 years per estuary for the period 1992-1993 to 1999-2000. Count sections and the positions of man-made landscape features were mapped using a GIS. Generalized linear models tested whether bird numbers varied according to the estuary, month, area, whether or not the section bordered water, and the proportion of each section within a specified distance of each landscape feature. In addition, the proximity of sections to the nearest footpath access point was considered. Numbers of six of nine species, northern shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), red knot (Calidris canutus), dunlin (Calidris alpina), black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa), Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata) and common redshank (Tringa totanus), were significantly lower where a footpath was close to a count section, while those of brant (Branta bernicla) were greater. Northern shelduck, black-bellied plover (Pluvialis squatarola), dunlin, and black-tailed godwit numbers were reduced close to railroads and those of common ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula), black-bellied plover, and Eurasian curlew close to roads. Common ringed plover numbers were greater close to towns. The relative distances to which species were affected by footpaths corresponded to published information concerning their flight distances in response to human disturbance. The study provided evidence that sustained disturbance associated with footpaths, roads, and railroads reduced local habitat quality for waterbirds and the carrying capacity of estuaries. PMID:12402099

  6. An Exception to the Rule: Carry-Over Effects Do Not Accumulate in a Long-Distance Migratory Bird

    PubMed Central

    Senner, Nathan R.; Hochachka, Wesley M.; Fox, James W.; Afanasyev, Vsevolod

    2014-01-01

    Recent years have seen a growing consensus that events during one part of an animal's annual cycle can detrimentally affect its future fitness. Notably, migratory species have been shown to commonly display such carry-over effects, facing severe time constraints and physiological stresses that can influence events across seasons. However, to date, no study has examined a full annual cycle to determine when these carry-over effects arise and how long they persist within and across years. Understanding when carry-over effects are created and how they persist is critical to identifying those periods and geographic locations that constrain the annual cycle of a population and determining how selection is acting upon individuals throughout the entire year. Using three consecutive years of migration tracks and four consecutive years of breeding success data, we tested whether carry-over effects in the form of timing deviations during one migratory segment of the annual cycle represent fitness costs that persist or accumulate across the annual cycle for a long-distance migratory bird, the Hudsonian godwit, Limosa haemastica. We found that individual godwits could migrate progressively later than population mean over the course of an entire migration period, especially southbound migration, but that these deviations did not accumulate across the entire year and were not consistently detected among individuals across years. Furthermore, neither the accumulation of lateness during previous portions of the annual cycle nor arrival date at the breeding grounds resulted in individuals suffering reductions in their breeding success or survival. Given their extreme life history, such a lack of carry-over effects suggests that strong selection exists on godwits at each stage of the annual cycle and that carry-over effects may not be able to persist in such a system, but also emphasizes that high-quality stopover and wintering sites are critical to the maintenance of long-distance migratory populations. PMID:24523862

  7. Sex-biases in distribution and resource use at different spatial scales in a migratory shorebird

    PubMed Central

    Alves, José A; Gunnarsson, Tómas G; Potts, Peter M; Sutherland, William J; Gill, Jennifer A

    2013-01-01

    In migratory species, sexual size dimorphism can mean differing energetic requirements for males and females. Differences in the costs of migration and in the environmental conditions occurring throughout the range may therefore result in sex-biases in distribution and resource use at different spatial scales. In order to identify the scale at which sexual segregation operates, and thus the scale at which environmental changes may have sex-biased impacts, we use range-wide tracking of individually color-ringed Icelandic black-tailed godwits (Limosa limosa islandica) to quantify sexual segregation at scales ranging from the occupation of sites throughout the non-breeding range to within-site differences in distribution and resource use. Throughout the range of this migratory shorebird, there is no evidence of large-scale sex differences in distribution during the non-breeding season. However, the sexes differ in their selection of prey types and sizes, which results in small-scale sexual segregation within estuaries. The scale of sexual segregation therefore depends on the scale of variation in resource distribution, which, in this system, is primarily within estuaries. Sexual segregation in within-site distribution and resource use means that local-scale anthropogenic impacts on estuarine benthic prey communities may disproportionately affect the sexes in these migratory shorebirds. PMID:23610645

  8. Variation in numbers and behaviour of waders during the tidal cycle: implications for the use of estuarine sediment flats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granadeiro, José P.; Dias, Maria P.; Martins, Ricardo C.; Palmeirim, Jorge M.

    2006-05-01

    Estuarine sediment flats are essential feeding areas for waders, but their exploitation is constrained by the movements of tides. In this cyclic environment the exposure period of sediment flats decreases several fold from upper to lower flats, and the moving tidal waterline briefly creates particular conditions for waders and their prey. This study attempts to determine how the exposure period and the movement of the tide line influence the use of space and food resources by waders across the sediment flats. Wader counts and observations of feeding behaviour were carried out in all phases of the tidal cycle, in plots forming a transect from upper to lower flats, thus representing a gradient of exposure periods. Pecking, prey intake, and success rates varied little along the gradient. Some species actively followed the tide line while foraging, whereas others are evenly spread over the exposed flats. Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Avocet were 'tide followers', whereas Grey Plover, Redshank and Bar-tailed Godwit were 'non-followers'. Densities of 'followers' near the tide line were up to five times higher than elsewhere. Species differed markedly in the way they used space on the flats, but in general the rate of biomass acquisition (in grams of ash-free dry weight per time exposed) was much higher in lower flats. However, this preference was insufficient to counter the much longer exposure of the upper flats, so the total amount of biomass consumed on the latter was greater. Therefore, it was in these upper flats that waders fulfilled most of their energetic needs. Consequently, upper flats are of particular importance for the conservation of wader assemblages, but because they are usually closer to shore they tend to suffer the highest pressure from disturbance and land reclamation.

  9. Trophic resource partitioning within a shorebird community feeding on intertidal mudflat habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bocher, Pierrick; Robin, Frédéric; Kojadinovic, Jessica; Delaporte, Philippe; Rousseau, Pierre; Dupuy, Christine; Bustamante, Paco

    2014-09-01

    In ecological systems, it is necessary to describe the trophic niches of species and their segregation or overlap to understand the distribution of species in the community. In oceanic systems, the community structure of top predators such as seabird communities has been well documented with many studies in several biogeographical areas. But for coastal habitats, very few investigations on the trophic structure have been carried out in avian communities. In this study, the trophic resource partitioning was investigated on eight of the most abundant species of a shorebird community on the central Atlantic coast of France. Our work comprised a comprehensive sample of birds with different ecomorphogical patterns and data on their main prey to encompass potential sources of overlap and segregation in this community. We examined the stable carbon (?13C) and nitrogen (?15N) isotopic composition of blood to investigate the trophic structure (1) on a temporal scale by comparing migration and wintering periods; (2) on a spatial scale through inter-site comparisons; and (3) on the community level within groups of phylogenetically related species. Diets appeared different in several cases between periods, between sites and between juveniles and adults for the same sites. A clear trophic partitioning was established with four functional groups of predators in winter inside the community. The Grey Plover, the Bar-tailed Godwit, the Curlew and a majority of the dunlins were worm-eaters mainly feeding on Nereis diversicolor or Nephtys hombergii. Two species were predominantly deposit-suspensivorous mollusc-eaters, including the Red Knot and the Black-tailed Godwit feeding mainly on Macoma balthica. The Oystercatcher fed mainly on suspensivorous molluscs like Cerastodrema edule and two species including the Redshank and some dunlins adopted opportunistic behaviours feeding on mudflat and/or in marshes.

  10. Does growth rate determine the rate of metabolism in shorebird chicks living in the Arctic?

    PubMed

    Williams, Joseph B; Tieleman, B Irene; Visser, G Henk; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2007-01-01

    We measured resting and peak metabolic rates (RMR and PMR, respectively) during development of chicks of seven species of shorebirds: least sandpiper (Calidris minutilla; adult mass 20-22 g), dunlin (Calidris alpina; 56-62 g), lesser yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes; 88-92 g), short-billed dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus; 85-112 g), lesser golden plover (Pluvialis dominicana; 150-156 g), Hudsonian godwit (Limosa haemastica; 205-274 g), and whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus; 380 g). We tested two opposing hypotheses: the growth rate-maturity hypothesis, which posits that growth rate in chicks is inversely related to functional maturity of tissues, and the fast growth rate-high metabolism hypothesis, which suggests that rapid growth is possible only with a concomitant increase in either RMR or PMR. We have found no evidence that chicks of shorebirds with fast growth rates have lower RMRs or lower PMRs, as would be predicted by the growth rate-maturity hypothesis, but our data suggested that faster-growing chest muscles resulted in increased thermogenic capacity, consistent with the fast growth-high metabolism hypothesis. The development of homeothermy in smaller species is a consequence primarily of greater metabolic intensities of heat-generating tissues. The maximum temperature gradient between a chick's body and environment that can be maintained in the absence of a net radiative load increased rapidly with body mass during development and was highest in least sandpipers and lowest among godwits. Chicks of smaller species could maintain a greater temperature gradient at a particular body mass because of their higher mass-specific maximum metabolic rates. PMID:17717813

  11. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science,Vol. 87 (2008) 85 STATUS OF MARBLED GODWITS IN SOUTH DAKOTA

    E-print Network

    2008-01-01

    --South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit South Dakota State University Department of Wildlife destroyed or degraded by farming and ranching practices. These ac- tivities further slowed the recovery

  12. Trace element accumulation in relation to trophic niches of shorebirds using intertidal mudflats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucia, Magali; Bocher, Pierrick; Chambosse, Mélanie; Delaporte, Philippe; Bustamante, Paco

    2014-09-01

    This study investigated the link between trace element concentrations and respective diets of two shorebird species present in the Pertuis Charentais, Atlantic coast of France: the Dunlin (Calidris alpina) and Redshank (Tringa totanus). Trace element concentrations (Ag, As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, Zn) were investigated in the liver, kidney, muscle and feathers of 28 dunlins and 15 redshanks accidentally dead during catches by mist net. Analyses of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios were carried out in liver, muscle and feathers to determine whether differences in diet explained the variations in elemental levels. These results were compared to previous data obtained on two other shorebird species present on the same sites: the Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) and the Red Knot (Calidris canutus). This study demonstrated that shorebirds of the Pertuis Charentais were characterized by differential trace element bioaccumulation. Arsenic and Se concentrations in internal tissues were elevated in red knots and dunlins, whereas redshanks displayed higher Cd concentrations. These trace element bioaccumulation discrepancies could mainly come from divergences of trophic habits between shorebirds. Species with the highest trophic position displayed the highest Hg concentrations in the liver, muscle and feathers demonstrating therefore the biomagnification potential of this metal, as opposed to Cd and Pb. The same trend was observed in muscle and feathers for Se and only in feathers for As. These data highlighted the need to study several tissues to obtain a full comprehension of trace element exposure and pathways especially for long-distance migrating species using various habitats and sites.

  13. Abdominally implanted satellite transmitters affect reproduction and survival rather than migration of large shorebirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Gill, Robert E., Jr.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Kentie, Rosemarie; Gerritsen, Gerrit J.; Bruinzeel, Leo W.; Tijssen, David C.; Harwood, Christopher M.; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    Satellite telemetry has become a common technique to investigate avian life-histories, but whether such tagging will affect fitness is a critical unknown. In this study, we evaluate multi-year effects of implanted transmitters on migratory timing and reproductive performance in shorebirds. Shorebirds increasingly are recognized as good models in ecology and evolution. That many of them are of conservation concern adds to the research responsibilities. In May 2009, we captured 56 female Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa during late incubation in The Netherlands. Of these, 15 birds were equipped with 26-g satellite transmitters with a percutaneous antenna (7.8 % ± 0.2 SD of body mass), surgically implanted in the coelom. We compared immediate nest survival, timing of migration, subsequent nest site fidelity and reproductive behaviour including egg laying with those of the remaining birds, a comparison group of 41 females. We found no effects on immediate nest survival. Fledging success and subsequent southward and northward migration patterns of the implanted birds conformed to the expectations, and arrival time on the breeding grounds in 2010–2012 did not differ from the comparison group. Compared with the comparison group, in the year after implantation, implanted birds were equally faithful to the nest site and showed equal territorial behaviour, but a paucity of behaviours indicating nests or clutches. In the 3 years after implantation, the yearly apparent survival of implanted birds was 16 % points lower. Despite intense searching, we found only three eggs of two implanted birds; all were deformed. A similarly deformed egg was reported in a similarly implanted Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus returning to breed in central Alaska. The presence in the body cavity of an object slightly smaller than a normal egg may thus lead to egg malformation and, likely, reduced egg viability. That the use of implanted satellite transmitters in these large shorebirds reduced nesting propensity and might also lead to fertility losses argues against the use of implanted transmitters for studies on breeding biology, and for a careful evaluation of the methodology in studies of migration.

  14. Remote sensing aides studies of climate and wildlife in the Arctic-on land, at sea, and in the air (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, D. C.; Durner, G. M.; Gill, R. E.; Griffith, B.; Schmutz, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    Every day a variety of remote sensing technologies collects large volumes of data that are supporting new analyses and new interpretations about how weather and climate influence the status and distribution of wildlife populations worldwide. Understanding how climate presently affects wildlife is crucial for projecting how climate change could affect wildlife in the future. This talk highlights climate-related wildlife studies by the US Geological Survey in the Arctic. The Arctic is experiencing some of the most pronounced climate changes on earth, raising concerns for species that have evolved seasonal migration strategies tuned to habitat availability and quality. On land, large herbivores such as caribou select concentrated calving areas with high abundance of rapidly growing vegetation and calf survival increases with earlier green-up and with the quantity of food available to cows at peak lactation. Geese time their migrations and reproductive efforts to coincide with optimal plant phenology and peak nutrient availability and departures from this synchrony can influence the survival of goslings. At sea, the habitats of polar bears and other sea-ice-dependent species have dramatically changed over just the past two decades. The ice pack is comprised of younger ice that melts much more extensively during summer-a trend projected to continue by all general circulation models under all but the most aggressive greenhouse gas mitigation scenarios. Studies show that by mid-century optimal polar bear habitats will be so reduced that the species may become extirpated from some regions of the Arctic. In the air, a variety of shorebird species make non-stop endurance flights between northern and southern hemispheres. The bar-tailed godwit undertakes a trans-Pacific flight between Alaska and Australasia that lasts more than seven days and spans more than 10,000 km. Studies show that godwits time their flights to coincide with favorable wind conditions, but stochastic weather events en route can impose energetic costs that affect reproduction and possibly survival. As more is learned about how climate and climate change affect species and ecosystems, better adaptive management decisions can be made. Remote sensing will continue to play an essential role.

  15. EVIDENCE FOR GC-BIASED GENE CONVERSION AS A DRIVER OF BETWEEN-LINEAGE DIFFERENCES IN AVIAN BASE COMPOSITION -WEBER ET AL. (2014)

    E-print Network

    Jarvis, Erich D.

    2014-01-01

    lizard APAVI Apaloderma vittatum Bar-tailed Trogon APTFO Aptenodytes forsteri Emperor Penguin BALRE Pygoscelis adeliae Adelie Penguin STRCA Struthio camelus Ostrich TAEGU Taeniopygia guttata Zebra Finch TAUER

  16. Shorebird use of an exposed sandy beach in southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, David M.; Dugan, Jenifer E.

    2003-10-01

    Frequent morning surveys of birds were conducted on 1 km of beach in southern California to investigate shorebird use of an exposed sandy beach. The overall mean abundance (98.6 individuals km -1), estimated biomass (9.6 kg km -1), and species richness (5.5 species km -1) of shorebirds observed were very high for a sandy beach in the temperate zone. Eight species, sanderling ( Calidris alba), semipalmated plover ( Charadrius semipalmatus), marbled godwit ( Limosa fedoa), black-bellied plover ( Pluvialis squatarola), western sandpiper ( Calidris mauri), willet ( Catoptrophorus semipalmatus), surfbird ( Aphriza virgata), and whimbrel ( Numenius phaeopus), occurred in overall mean abundances >1 bird km -1 and accounted for 97% of the abundance and biomass of shorebirds. Sanderlings were the most abundant shorebird every year (64% of individuals and 35% of the biomass). Different species of abundant shorebirds exhibited distinct patterns of use of beach habitat, including fall, spring, and winter peaks in abundance. Temporal variation in shorebird use on seasonal and interannual scales was associated with migration patterns, and also with habitat availability and condition. Seasonal variation in monthly mean abundance and estimated biomass of shorebirds varied over more than an order of magnitude and followed a similar pattern in each year, reaching maxima in the fall or winter (161-280 individuals km -1 and 15.4-23.9 kg km -1) and minima in May or June (3-11 individuals km -1 and 0.8-2.2 kg km -1). A minor peak in shorebird abundance and biomass coinciding with spring migration was observed in April of most years. The number of species of shorebirds observed in individual surveys ranged from 0 to 11 species km -1 and was positively and significantly correlated with abundance. Monthly mean species richness and the total species observed monthly followed similar seasonal patterns, ranging from annual maxima of 7.4-9.1 and 12-17 species km -1 between August and October to minima of 0.8-2.1 and 2-8 species km -1, respectively, during June. In contrast, species turnover was lowest (1.1-1.7) in October and November, and generally highest (2-4) during early summer (June). The amount of sandy intertidal habitat available to shorebirds on the transect was estimated using sand elevations and predicted tide heights. In the fall and winter, the abundance of shorebirds was significantly and positively correlated with tide height, possibly reflecting feeding opportunities and high tide refuge effects during the highest tides. In the spring when sand levels were low, the abundance of shorebirds was negatively correlated with tide height. Prey availability, beach condition and the local availability, and condition of alternative foraging habitats may influence those relationships. Interannual variations in shorebird use and beach condition were observed in the course of the study. During an El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event (1997-1998), the extent of sandy habitat was greatly reduced and intertidal habitat was mostly converted to rocky substrate. The overall abundance of shorebirds and the mean abundance of some common species (e.g. sanderling) were depressed, and an uncommon species (surfbird, A. virgata) was unusually abundant during the ENSO event. In summary, the results suggest that sandy beaches are important habitat for many species of shorebirds, particularly in areas where alternative coastal foraging habitats, such as coastal wetlands, have become scarce. Understanding the dynamics of and threats to exposed sandy beaches may be increasingly important for shorebird conservation in many coastal regions.

  17. RECOMMENDED CONSERVATION FOR FOCAL SPECIES APPENDIX Q

    E-print Network

    occurrences Mud sedge Carex limosa RA Bog disturbance Map and protect all discovered occurrences; protection of sphagnum bogs should protect this species Mariposa sedge* Carex mariposana AE Uncertain Map and protect

  18. Environmental contaminants in Canadian shorebirds.

    PubMed

    Braune, Birgit M; Noble, David G

    2009-01-01

    Canadian shorebirds are exposed to environmental contaminants throughout their annual cycle. Contaminant exposure among species varies with diet, foraging behaviour and migration patterns. We sampled twelve species of shorebirds from four locations across Canada to assess their exposure to PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, as well as four trace elements (Hg, Se, Cd, As). SigmaPCB and SigmaDDT followed by SigmaCHL were most frequently found above trace level in the shorebird carcasses. In general, the plover species (American golden, semipalmated, black-bellied) appear to be the most contaminated with organochlorines, whereas Hudsonian and marbled godwits appear to be the least contaminated. Among adult birds, the greater and lesser yellowlegs had the highest hepatic Hg concentrations (2.4-2.7 microg g(-1) dw), whereas American golden plovers as well as Hudsonian and marbled godwits contained relatively low levels of Hg (<1 microg g(-1) dw). Renal Se concentrations varied from 3.2 to 16.7 microg g(-1) dw and exhibited little interspecific or seasonal variation. Renal Cd levels in adult birds were highest in Hudsonian godwits from Quill Lakes (43 microg g(-1) dw) and Cape Churchill (12 microg g(-1) dw), and lowest (0.8-1.5 microg g(-1) dw) in greater and lesser yellowlegs from Cape Churchill and Bay of Fundy. Renal As concentrations varied from 0.06 microg g(-1) dw in golden plovers from Cape Churchill to 4.6 and 5.1 microg g(-1) dw in dunlin samples from the Pacific coast. There is no evidence that contaminants were adversely affecting the shorebirds sampled from the Canadian locations in this study. PMID:18340543

  19. Feather mites of Calidris fuscicollis (Aves: Scolopacidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Gomes, S N; Pesenti, T C; Cirne, M P; Müller, G

    2015-11-01

    During the period 2010-2012, eighty individuals of Calidris fuscicollis (Vieillot, 1819) were collected on the southern coast of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, with the objective of determining the presence of feather mites. Of the 80 birds examined, 32.5% were infested by mites, identified as Avenzoaria calidridis (Oudemans, 1904) (Avenzoariidae) (31.25%), Montchadskiana securicata (Megnin & Trouessart 1884) (Pterolichidae) (22.5%) and Alloptes limosae (Dubinin, 1951) (Alloptidae) (6.25%). This is the first report of feather mites on Calidris fuscicollis in Brazil. PMID:26675921

  20. Encountering extreme weather during migration: individual strategies and their consequences.

    PubMed

    Gill, Jennifer A

    2015-09-01

    Migratory birds can encounter extreme weather when they arrive on their breeding grounds in spring. These recently-arrived Icelandic black-tailed godwits encounter snow quite frequently in spring, but how does the same species cope with extreme weather in breeding grounds further south, where cold weather is much less common? Photo credit: Tómas G. Gunnarsson. In Focus: Senner, N.R., Verhoeven, M.A., Abad-Gómez, J.M., Gutiérrez, J.S., Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W., Kentie, R., Masero, J.A., Tibbitts, T.L. & Piersma, T. (2015) When Siberia came to the Netherlands: the response of continental black-tailed godwits to a rare spring weather event. Journal of Animal Ecology, 84, 1164-1176. The way that animal populations respond to changing weather conditions is a major focus of current research, fuelled by the need to predict the future consequences of climatic changes. Severe weather events can provide valuable opportunities to uncover the mechanisms through which the weather influences population demography but opportunities to track individual responses to such events are rare. Senner et al. () report on an exceptional opportunity to address this issue, when their detailed studies of a migratory shorebird population were interrupted by an extreme weather event that coincided with spring migration, a key period in the annual cycle of migratory species. Through tracking of individuals across the migratory range, Senner et al. () show that, while individual schedules were severely disrupted by the harsh weather, with many individuals undertaking reverse migrations and experiencing delayed breeding, breeding success was unaffected. This study highlights the complexities involved in predicting the ecological consequences of extreme weather events and the key role of behavioural flexibility in mitigating the costs to individuals. PMID:26376431

  1. Birds Generally Carry a Small Repertoire of Bitter Taste Receptor Genes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Zhao, Huabin

    2015-09-01

    As they belong to the most species-rich class of tetrapod vertebrates, birds have long been believed to possess an inferior taste system. However, the bitter taste is fundamental in birds to recognize dietary toxins (which are typically bitter) in potential food sources. To characterize the evolution of avian bitter taste receptor genes (Tas2rs) and to test whether dietary toxins have shaped the repertoire size of avian Tas2rs, we examined 48 genomes representing all but 3 avian orders. The total number of Tas2r genes was found to range from 1 in the domestic pigeon to 12 in the bar-tailed trogon, with an average of 4, which suggested that a much smaller Tas2r gene repertoire exists in birds than in other vertebrates. Furthermore, we uncovered a positive correlation between the number of putatively functional Tas2rs and the abundance of potential toxins in avian diets. Because plant products contain more toxins than animal tissues and insects release poisonous defensive secretions, we hypothesized that herbivorous and insectivorous birds may demand more functional Tas2rs than carnivorous birds feeding on noninsect animals. Our analyses appear to support this hypothesis and highlight the critical role of taste perception in birds. PMID:26342138

  2. Birds Generally Carry a Small Repertoire of Bitter Taste Receptor Genes

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Kai; Zhao, Huabin

    2015-01-01

    As they belong to the most species-rich class of tetrapod vertebrates, birds have long been believed to possess an inferior taste system. However, the bitter taste is fundamental in birds to recognize dietary toxins (which are typically bitter) in potential food sources. To characterize the evolution of avian bitter taste receptor genes (Tas2rs) and to test whether dietary toxins have shaped the repertoire size of avian Tas2rs, we examined 48 genomes representing all but 3 avian orders. The total number of Tas2r genes was found to range from 1 in the domestic pigeon to 12 in the bar-tailed trogon, with an average of 4, which suggested that a much smaller Tas2r gene repertoire exists in birds than in other vertebrates. Furthermore, we uncovered a positive correlation between the number of putatively functional Tas2rs and the abundance of potential toxins in avian diets. Because plant products contain more toxins than animal tissues and insects release poisonous defensive secretions, we hypothesized that herbivorous and insectivorous birds may demand more functional Tas2rs than carnivorous birds feeding on noninsect animals. Our analyses appear to support this hypothesis and highlight the critical role of taste perception in birds. PMID:26342138

  3. Microcystin-producing and non-producing cyanobacterial blooms collected from the Central India harbor potentially pathogenic Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Chaturvedi, Prashant; Kumar Agrawal, Manish; Nath Bagchi, Suvendra

    2015-05-01

    On the basis of relative abundance, frequency and biovolume, the important value index ranks were assigned to individual cyanobacteria in phytoplankton samples collected from fourteen water resources of Central India. The mcyABDE genes were detected in all the blooms with Microcystis (-aeruginosa, -viridis, -panniformis, -botrys) as being the major constituent morphospecies. On the other hand, blooms composed of primarily Oscillatoria (-limosa,-agardhii, -laetevirens) along with Anabaena, Nostoc, Phormidium and Spirulina as sub-dominant forms exhibited quite a patchy distribution of one or the other mcy genes. Fifty percent of Microcystis- but none of the Oscillatoria dominant blooms produced microcystins-RR and desmethyl-RR at 0.03-0.41mgg(-1) bloom dry mass. Traces of dissolved microcystin was detected in lake water, which is well below the WHO guideline. Irrespective of cyanobacterial composition and microcystin production ability, during the study period 43-64% of the cyanobacterial bloom samples exhibited association of viable but nonculturable forms of Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139, as evident from amplification of the antigen genes. We believe that spread of endemic cholera is the major threat associated with harmful algal blooms. PMID:25682583

  4. Diversity and ecological tolerance of bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of halophyton plants living nearby Kiskunság soda ponds, Hungary.

    PubMed

    Borsodi, Andrea K; Bárány, Ágnes; Krett, Gergely; Márialigeti, Károly; Szili-Kovács, Tibor

    2015-06-01

    Many halophytes and halophilic microorganisms are capable to adapt to the extremities of saline habitats. This study reveals the taxonomic diversity and ecological tolerance of bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of three different halophytes (Bolboschoenus maritimus, Puccinellia limosa and Aster tripolium) living in the vicinity of Kiskunság soda ponds. Following a sampling in September 2013, altogether 76 bacterial strains were isolated using two different media. The strains were identified on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequencing following ARDRA grouping. Salt and pH tolerance of the strains were examined by measuring their growth in broths containing 0-15% NaCl (w/V) and characterized with pH 7-12 values. Among the strains genera of Anaerobacillus, Bacillus and Exiguobacterium (Firmicutes), Agromyces, Isoptericola, Microbacterium, Micrococcus, Nocardiopsis, Nesterenkonia and Streptomyces (Actinobacteria), Halomonas and Idiomarina (Proteobacteria) and Anditalea (Bacteroidetes) were identified. The Bolboschoenus and Puccinellia samples characterized with the highest pH and electric conductivity values were dominated by Bacillus, Halomonas and Nesterenkonia, respectively. The salt tolerance of the bacterial strains was strongly dependent on the sampling location and plant species. In contrast, growth of bacterial strains in broths with alkaline pH values was more balanced. The strains from the Puccinellia sample showed the widest salt and pH tolerance. PMID:26132838

  5. Temporal and spatial variation in bird and human use of beaches in southern California.

    PubMed

    Lafferty, Kevin D; Rodriguez, Donald A; Chapman, Angela

    2013-12-01

    Southern California's beaches can support a remarkable diversity of birds along the Pacific Flyway. We asked whether seasonal, annual, and spatial factors affect bird richness and abundance on public beaches. To do so, we conducted three years of monthly bird surveys on 12 sandy beaches in Ventura California. Across all surveys, we counted 22 shorebird species, 8 gull species, 24 other water bird species, and 24 landbird species. Sanderling, western gull, Heerman's gull, willet, marbled godwit, and whimbrel were the most abundant members of the bird community. Beach wrack was uncommon, particularly where beaches were groomed, and did not have a large effect on bird abundance, though it was positively associated with overall bird richness. Beaches near estuaries tended to be wide, and such beaches had a higher richness and abundance of birds. Beaches with shallow slopes tended to have more gulls and shorebirds. People and (illegal) unleashed dogs were common, particularly at beaches fronted by houses. The abundance and richness of shorebirds and the richness of other waterbirds was lower where human activity was high. Bird richness and abundance was strongly affected by season, with the highest density of birds being seen during the fall shorebird migration. Gull abundance peaked earlier (August-September) than shorebird abundance (October through December). A brief pulse of shorebirds also occurred in May due to spring migration. Comparing these data with surveys in the 1990's found no evidence for a decline in shorebirds over time, though black-bellied plover appear to still be recovering from the strong 1997-1998 ENSO. Opportunities to conserve birds on these beaches are limited, but could include enforcing leash laws and setting up human exclosures near estuary mouths. PMID:23450765

  6. Avian assemblages on altered grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knopf, Fritz L.

    1994-01-01

    Grasslands comprise 17% of the North American landscape but provide primary habitat for only 5% of native bird species. On the Great Plains, grasslands include an eastern component of tall grasses and a western component of short grasses, both of which have been regionally altered by removing native grazers, plowing sod, draining wetlands, and encouraging woody vegetation. As a group, populations of endemic bird species of the grasslands have declined more than others (including neotropical migrants) in the last quarter century. Individually, populations of the Upland Sandpiper and McCown’s Longspur have increased; the wetlands-associated Marbled Godwit and Wilson’s Phalarope appear stable; breeding ranges are shifting for the Ferruginous Hawk, Mississippi Kite, Short-eared Owl, Upland Sandpiper, Horned Lark, Vesper, Savannah, and Henslow’s sparrows, and Western Meadowlark; breeding habitats are disappearing locally for Franklin’s Gull, Dickcissel, Henslow’s and Grasshopper sparrows. Lark Bunting, and Eastern Meadowlark; and populations are declining throughout the breeding ranges for Mountain Plover, and Cassin’s and Clay-colored sparrows. Declines of these latter three species, and also the Franklin’s Gull, presumably are due to ecological phenomena on their respective wintering areas. Unlike forest species that winter in the neotropics, most birds that breed in the North American grasslands also winter on the continent and problems driving declines in grassland species are associated almost entirely with North American processes. Contemporary programs and initiatives hold promise for the conservation of breeding habitats for these birds. Ecological ignorance of wintering habits and habitats clouds the future of the endemic birds of grasslands, especially those currently experiencing widespread declines across breeding locales.

  7. Multidisciplinary approach to identify aquifer-peatland connectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larocque, Marie; Pellerin, Stéphanie; Cloutier, Vincent; Ferlatte, Miryane; Munger, Julie; Quillet, Anne; Paniconi, Claudio

    2015-04-01

    In southern Quebec (Canada), wetlands sustain increasing pressures from agriculture, urban development, and peat exploitation. To protect both groundwater and ecosystems, it is important to be able to identify how, where, and to what extent shallow aquifers and wetlands are connected. This study focuses on peatlands which are especially abundant in Quebec. The objective of this research was to better understand aquifer-peatland connectivity and to identify easily measured indicators of this connectivity. Geomorphology, hydrogeochemistry, and vegetation were selected as key indicators of connectivity. Twelve peatland transects were instrumented and monitored in the Abitibi (slope peatlands associated with eskers) and Centre-du-Quebec (depression peatlands) regions of Quebec (Canada). Geomorphology, geology, water levels, water chemistry, and vegetation species were identified/measured on all transects. Flow conditions were simulated numerically on two typical transects. Results show that a majority of peatland transects receives groundwater from a shallow aquifer. In slope peatlands, groundwater flows through the organic deposits towards the peatland center. In depression peatlands, groundwater flows only 100-200 m within the peatland before being redirected through surface routes towards the outlet. Flow modeling and sensitivity analysis have identified that the thickness and hydraulic conductivity of permeable deposits close to the peatland and beneath the organic deposits influence flow directions within the peatland. Geochemical data have confirmed the usefulness of total dissolved solids (TDS) exceeding 14 mg/L as an indicator of the presence of groundwater within the peatland. Vegetation surveys have allowed the identification of species and groups of species that occur mostly when groundwater is present, for instance Carex limosa and Sphagnum russowii. Geomorphological conditions (slope or depression peatland), TDS, and vegetation can be measured/observed with limited effort in the field. Results from this study have the potential to help water managers and decision makers better understand and characterize aquifer-peatland interactions.

  8. [Temporal and spatial variation of shorebirds in Barra de Navidad lagoon, Jalisco, during three non-breeding seasons].

    PubMed

    Hernández, Salvador; Serrano, Sergio; Hernández, Xóchitl A; Robles, María Isabel

    2012-09-01

    Resident and migratory shorebirds inhabit different kinds of wetlands such as lagoons, rivers and seashores among others. In recent years, these areas have been importantly affected by urban, agriculture and touristic activities, such as the Barra de Navidad lagoon, for which little information is available to support conservation programs. The aim of this work was to describe shorebirds temporal and spatial distribution in Barra de Navidad lagoon during three non-breeding seasons (1999-2000, 2006-2007 and 2008-2009). For this, monthly censuses were performed from November-April with the purpose of registering all the shorebirds species. We were able to identify 19 shorebirds species (three residents and 16 winter visitors), of which Charadrius wilsonia, Limosa fedoa and Tringa semipalmata were the most abundant. The greater number of species was registered for November, December and March of the first and third seasons. The greater number of individuals was registered when birds were feeding during low tides, mainly in December, January and February of the first and third seasons. At low tide, there was a great number of species and individuals in zone C. This area had muddy substrates that were exposed during low tides and were used to feed. Barra de Navidad lagoon provided suitable habitats for feeding and resting for resident and migratory birds. Twelve of the 19 species were considered as priority within the Mexican bird conservation strategy. However, these habitats are threatened by human activities performed in the nearby areas of the lagoon that may have negative consequences for the distribution, abundance and conservation of these species. PMID:23025100

  9. Floral miniaturisation and autogamy in boreal-arctic plants are epitomised by Iceland's most frequent orchid, Platanthera hyperborea.

    PubMed

    Bateman, Richard M; Sramkó, Gábor; Rudall, Paula J

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims. This paper concludes our series of publications comparing island and mainland speciation in European butterfly-orchids, by studying the morphology, phylogenetics and reproductive biology of the controversial circum-arctic species Platanthera (Limnorchis) hyperborea-the most frequent of seven Icelandic orchids. We draw particular attention to its phylogenetic placement, remarkable reproductive biology and morphological convergence on other Platanthera lineages through floral miniaturisation. Methods. Five populations of P. hyperborea in southwest Iceland were measured for 33 morphological characters and subjected to detailed multivariate and univariate analyses, supported by light and scanning electron microscopy of selected flowers. Representative samples from six populations were sequenced for nrITS and placed in a taxonomically broader phylogenetic matrix derived from previous studies. Key Results . Section Limnorchis consists of three distinct ITS-delimited clades based on P. stricta, P. sparsifolia-limosa-aquilonis and P. dilatata-hyperborea. Within the latter group, supposed species boundaries overlap; instead, the data indicate a crude stepwise series of ribotypic transitions extending eastward from North America to Iceland. Morphometric data failed to identify any taxonomically meaningful partitions among Icelandic P. hyperborea populations, despite the presence of a distinct and apparently plesiomorphic ribotype at the most glacially influenced habitat sampled. Microscopic study of the flowers revealed several distinguishing features (some not previously reported), including resupinate lateral sepals, toothed bract margins, club-shaped papillae shared by both the interior of the labellar spur and the stigmatic surface, and an exceptionally adhesive stigma that is reliably covered in disaggregated pollen masses prior to anthesis; auricles are absent. Conclusions. Ribotypes suggest that Icelandic P. hyperborea represents the terminus of a migration route that may have begun in East Asia before passing through North America and presumably Greenland. The incohesive pollinia, rapidly desiccating anther locules, weakly developed rostellum, exceptionally adhesive stigma and the close juxtaposition of compact male and female reproductive organs together conspire to cause routine autogamy and frequent cleistogamy, despite the continued production of substantial nectar reservoirs in the spur and consequent ongoing attraction to the flowers of insects, including mosquitoes. When considered in combination with independently derived lineages of Platanthera on the Azorean and Hawaiian archipelagos also bearing small green flowers, our observations show allometric and paedomorphic reductions in flower size as the primary evolutionary driver, but also indicate strong developmental and functional constraints. PMID:25893148

  10. [Biogeochemical processes in the algal-bacterial mats of the Urinskii alkaline hot spring].

    PubMed

    Brianskaia, A V; Namsaraev, Z B; Kalashnikova, O M; Barkhutova, D D; Namsaraev, B B; Gorlenko, V M

    2006-01-01

    The structure and production characteristics of microbial communities from the Urinskii alkaline hot spring (Buryat Republic, Russia) have been investigated. A distinctive characteristic of this hot spring is the lack of sulfide in the issuing water. The water temperature near the spring vents ranged from 69 to 38.5 degrees C and pH values ranged from 8.8 to 9.2. The total mineralization of water was less than 0.1 g/liter. Temperature has a profound effect on the species composition and biogeochemical processes occurring in the algal-bacterial mats of the Urinskii hot spring. The maximum diversity of the phototrophic community was observed at the temperatures 40 and 46 degrees C. A total of 12 species of cyanobacteria, 4 species of diatoms, and one species of thermophilic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria, Chloroflexus aurantiacus, have been isolated from mat samples. At temperatures above 40 degrees C, the filamentous cyanobacterium Phormidium laminosum was predominant; its cell number and biomass concentration were 95.1 and 63.9%, respectively. At lower temperatures, the biomass concentrations of the cyanobacterium Oscillatoria limosa and diatoms increased (50.2 and 36.4%, respectively). The cyanobacterium Mastigocladus laminosus, which is normally found in neutral or slightly acidic hydrothermal systems, was detected in microbial communities. As the diatom concentration increases, so does the dry matter concentration in mats, while the content of organic matter decreases. The concentrations of proteins and carbohydrates reached their maximum levels at 45-50 degrees C. The maximum average rate of oxygenic photosynthesis (2.1 g C/m2 day), chlorophyll a content (343.4 mg/m2), and cell number of phototrophic microorganisms were observed at temperatures from 45 to 50 degrees C. The peak mass of bacterial mats (56.75 g/m2) occurred at a temperature of 65-60 degrees C. The maximum biomass concentration of phototrophs (414.63 x 10(-6) g/ml) and the peak rate of anoxygenic photosynthesis [0.42 g C/(m2 day)] were observed at a temperature of 35-40 degrees C. PMID:17091594

  11. Floral miniaturisation and autogamy in boreal-arctic plants are epitomised by Iceland’s most frequent orchid, Platanthera hyperborea

    PubMed Central

    Sramkó, Gábor; Rudall, Paula J.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims. This paper concludes our series of publications comparing island and mainland speciation in European butterfly-orchids, by studying the morphology, phylogenetics and reproductive biology of the controversial circum-arctic species Platanthera (Limnorchis) hyperborea—the most frequent of seven Icelandic orchids. We draw particular attention to its phylogenetic placement, remarkable reproductive biology and morphological convergence on other Platanthera lineages through floral miniaturisation. Methods. Five populations of P. hyperborea in southwest Iceland were measured for 33 morphological characters and subjected to detailed multivariate and univariate analyses, supported by light and scanning electron microscopy of selected flowers. Representative samples from six populations were sequenced for nrITS and placed in a taxonomically broader phylogenetic matrix derived from previous studies. Key Results . Section Limnorchis consists of three distinct ITS-delimited clades based on P. stricta, P. sparsifolia–limosa–aquilonis and P. dilatata–hyperborea. Within the latter group, supposed species boundaries overlap; instead, the data indicate a crude stepwise series of ribotypic transitions extending eastward from North America to Iceland. Morphometric data failed to identify any taxonomically meaningful partitions among Icelandic P. hyperborea populations, despite the presence of a distinct and apparently plesiomorphic ribotype at the most glacially influenced habitat sampled. Microscopic study of the flowers revealed several distinguishing features (some not previously reported), including resupinate lateral sepals, toothed bract margins, club-shaped papillae shared by both the interior of the labellar spur and the stigmatic surface, and an exceptionally adhesive stigma that is reliably covered in disaggregated pollen masses prior to anthesis; auricles are absent. Conclusions. Ribotypes suggest that Icelandic P. hyperborea represents the terminus of a migration route that may have begun in East Asia before passing through North America and presumably Greenland. The incohesive pollinia, rapidly desiccating anther locules, weakly developed rostellum, exceptionally adhesive stigma and the close juxtaposition of compact male and female reproductive organs together conspire to cause routine autogamy and frequent cleistogamy, despite the continued production of substantial nectar reservoirs in the spur and consequent ongoing attraction to the flowers of insects, including mosquitoes. When considered in combination with independently derived lineages of Platanthera on the Azorean and Hawaiian archipelagos also bearing small green flowers, our observations show allometric and paedomorphic reductions in flower size as the primary evolutionary driver, but also indicate strong developmental and functional constraints. PMID:25893148

  12. Mechanisms of point bar growth and accretion in experimental bedload-dominated streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braudrick, C. A.; Leverich, G.; Dietrich, W. E.; Sklar, L.

    2006-12-01

    As channels migrate across their floodplains they erode their outer banks and create new floodplain on their inner bank via deposition of a point bar. While there has been considerable work on flow through bends and on erosion of the outer bank, there has been comparatively little study of the mechanisms of lateral point bar growth and accretion. We hypothesize that if slope and discharge are sufficient for meandering channels, meandering requires three additional conditions: (1) increased bank strength so that bar growth can keep pace with bank erosion; (2) overbank flows so the point bar can grow to the elevation of the floodplain; and (3) finer (suspendable) particles to allow the point bar to attach to the floodplain downstream of the bar apex. The first condition stems from experiments conducted with the same bed and bank material without sprouts that resulted in a braided morphology and observations of characteristics of meandering channels in the field. The second condition arises because sediment deposition to the elevation of the floodplain requires flow depth that exceeds the elevation of floodplain. The last condition emerges from the strong tendency for the downstream tail of point bars to form a ridge away from the inner bank and leave a trough where bedload sediment doesn't enter. These hypotheses are based on initial single bend experiments in a 3.7 m by 6.1 m flume with a slope of 0.005 that uses alfalfa sprouts to provide bank strength. New experiments are now underway using a 6.1 m wide and 16.5 m long flume with a valley slope of 0.004. The initial channel is set to 1.9 cm deep and 40 cm wide. As before, we have used alfalfa sprouts to increase the bank strength and reduce the bank erosion rate. The previous experiments consisted of two runs with 4 discharges ranging from the critical flow for the initiation of sediment transport to a flow double bankfull. In the experiments in the larger basin, we will use a two-stage hydrograph with a long-duration bankfull flow and a shorter-duration overbank flow. Our goal is to model a meandering gravel bedded stream, which puts particular emphasis on the availability of finer sediment to bridge the gap between the bar tail and the floodplain. Here we use two sediment types to represent gravel and sand. The model gravel was sand with a median size of 0.85 mm and a specific gravity of 2.66. We used plastic sediment with a median size of 370 microns and specific gravity of 1.5 as the model sand. The lower specific gravity allows the plastic to be re-entrained more easily than denser particles with the same settling velocity. We anticipate being able to develop four bends, with the lower ones evolving to cutoff. Initial experiments without plastic were able to connect the bar to the floodplain upstream of the bar apex but the trough remained downstream of the bar apex. Subsequent test runs with both plastic and sand showed that the plastic was able to deposit where the trough formed downstream of the bar apex.