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.
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.
Conklin, J.R.; Battley, Phil F.; Potter, M.A.; Ruthrauff, D.R.
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.
Piersma, T.; Gill, R.E., Jr.
We documented fat loads and abdominal organ sizes of Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri) that died after colliding against a radar dome on the Alaska Peninsula, most likely just after takeoff on a trans-Pacific flight of 11,000 km, and of birds of the same subspecies just before northward departure from New Zealand. We compared these data with data on body composition of godwits of the smaller lapponica subspecies obtained during a northward stopover in The Netherlands. As a consequence of high amounts of subcutaneous and intraperitoneal fat, and very small fat-free mass, Bar-tailed Godwits from Alaska had relative fat loads that are among the highest ever recorded in birds (ca. 55% of fresh body mass). Compared with northbound godwits from New Zealand, the Alaskan birds had very small gizzards, livers, kidneys, and guts. This suggests that upon departure, long-distance migrants dispense with parts of their 'metabolic machinery' that are not directly necessary during flight, and rebuild these organs upon arrival at the migratory destination.
Gill, Robert E., Jr.; Douglas, David C.; Handel, Colleen M.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Hufford, Gary; Piersma, Theunis
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.
Kinsella, John M; Didyk, Andy S; Canaris, Albert G
In total, 21 Hudsonian godwits, Limosa haemastica (Charadriiformes: Scolopacidae), were examined for helminths, 10 from Bristol Bay, Alaska, and 11 from Churchill, Manitoba. Seventeen species of helminths (9 trematodes, 6 cestodes, 2 nematodes) were collected, but only 1 trematode species, Plagiorchis elegans, was found in common between the 2 sample sites. All 17 species are new records for this host and 2 cestodes, Capsulata edenensis and Malika limosa, are new records for North America. In general, both prevalence and intensities were low, and species richness ranged from 1 to 6 (mean = 2.4). Most of the differences in the helminth faunas between the 2 sites were attributed to difference in habitats, freshwater in Manitoba versus saltwater in Alaska. PMID:17626373
Trimbos, Krijn B.; Doorenweerd, Camiel; Kraaijeveld, Ken; Musters, C. J. M.; Groen, Niko M.; de Knijff, Peter; Piersma, Theunis; de Snoo, Geert R.
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
Pedro M. Lourenço; Rosemarie Kentie; Julia Schroeder; Niko M. Groen; Jos C. E. W. Hooijmeijer; Theunis Piersma
When early breeding is advantageous, migrants underway to the breeding areas may be time stressed. The timing of sequential\\u000a events such as migration and breeding is expected to be correlated because of a “domino effect”, and would be of particular\\u000a biological importance if timings are repeatable within individuals between years. We studied a colour-marked population of\\u000a Black-tailed Godwits Limosa l.
Locke, L.N.; Smith, M.R.; Windingstad, R.M.; Martin, S.J.
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.
BRIAN J. McCAFFERY; CHRISTOPHER M. HARWOOD
Over 100 observations of the Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica) on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in western Alaska since 1983 show that the species is a fairly common migrant, uncommon summer visitant, and rare, perhaps locally uncommon, breeder there. Spring arrival and fall departure dates are among the earliest and latest, respectively, in Alaska. Observations of breeding behavior and\\/or recently fledged young
Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Senner, Nathan R.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Gill, Robert E., Jr.; Douglas, David C.; Bruinzeel, Leo W.; Wymenga, Eddy; Piersma, Theunis
Conservation of long-distance migratory shorebirds is complex because these species use habitats spread across continents and hemispheres, making identification of critical habitats and potential bottlenecks in the annual cycle especially difficult. The population of Black-tailed Godwits that breeds in Western Europe, Limosa limosa limosa, has declined precipitously over the past few decades. Despite significant efforts to identify the root causes of this decline, much remains unclear. To better understand the migratory timing, use of stopover and nonbreeding sites, and the potential impact of breeding success on these parameters, we attached 15 Argos satellite transmitters and 10 geolocation tracking devices to adult godwits nearing completion of incubation at breeding sites in southwest Friesland, The Netherlands during the spring of 2009. We successfully tracked 16 adult godwits for their entire southward migration and two others for part of it. Three migration patterns and four regions of use were apparent. Most godwits left their breeding sites and proceeded south directly to stopover sites in the Mediterranean — e.g. Spain, Portugal, and Morocco — before flying on to non-breeding sites in West Africa. Other individuals spent the entire nonbreeding season in the Mediterranean. A third pattern included a few individuals that flew nonstop from their Dutch breeding sites to nonbreeding sites in West Africa. Tracking data from this study will be immediately useful for conservation efforts focused on preserving the dispersed network of sites used by godwits during their southward migration.
Marie-Christine Eybert; Thomas Geslin; Sophie Questiau; Eric Feunteun
The Mont-Saint-Michel bay located on the East Atlantic Flyway is the first site in France for wintering shorebirds, with, on average, 53000 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
M. G. Yates; J. D. Goss-Custard
Comparisons are made between counts of shorebirds at high water roosts and low water feeding grounds on the Wash, east England. During autumn and winter 1985–87, Shelduck, Tadorna tadorna, Oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus, Ringed Plover, Charadrius hiaticula, Grey Plover, Pluvialis squatarola, Knot, Calidris canutus, Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Bar-tailed Godwit, Limosa lapponica, Curlew, Numenius arquata Redshank, Tringa totanus and Turnstone, Arenaria interpres
Phil F. Battley; Murray A. Potter; James W. Fox; Jesse R. Conklin
Despite clear benefits of optimal arrival time on breeding grounds, migration schedules may vary with an individual bird's innate quality, non-breeding habitat or breeding destination. Here, we show that for the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica baueri), a shorebird that makes the longest known non-stop migratory flights of any bird, timing of migration for individual birds from a non-breeding site in
Eybert, Marie-Christine; Geslin, Thomas; Questiau, Sophie; Feunteun, Eric
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
152 Carex limosa. (A) Pistillate scales, (B) perigynia, (C) achenes, (D) inflorescences. A through C: Left--dorsal view; right--ventral view. A B C D #12;153 Carex limosa L. Mud sedge, shore sedge in Nevada (Elko County), Utah (Uinta Mountains), and Wyoming. July-August. SIMILAR SPECIES: C. limosa
Landys, Meta M; Piersma, Theunis; Guglielmo, Christopher G; Jukema, Joop; Ramenofsky, Marilyn; Wingfield, John C
Migrating birds often complete long non-stop flights during which body energy stores exclusively support energetic demands. The metabolic correlates of such long-distance travel in free-living migrants are as yet poorly studied. Bar-tailed godwits, Limosa lapponica taymyrensis, undertake a 4500 km flight to their single spring stopover site and thus provide an excellent model in which to determine the energy fuels associated with endurance travel. To this end, we evaluated plasma concentrations of six key metabolites in arriving godwits caught immediately upon landing near their stopover site. Initial metabolite levels were compared with levels after 5 h of inactive rest to determine how flight per se affects energy metabolism. Birds refuelling on the stopover site were also examined. Arriving godwits displayed elevated plasma free fatty acids, glycerol and butyrate, confirming the importance of lipid fuel in the support of extended migratory activity. Further-more, elevated plasma triglycerides in these birds suggest that fatty acid provisioning is facilitated through hepatic synthesis and release of neutral lipids, as previously hypothesized for small migrants with high mass-specific metabolic rates. Finally, elevations in plasma uric acid suggest that protein breakdown contributes to the support of long-distance movement, to possibly maintain citric acid cycle intermediates, gluconeogenesis and/or water balance. PMID:15705555
Conklin, Jesse R.; Battley, Phil F.; Potter, Murray A.
Flexibility in scheduling varies throughout an organism’s annual cycle, reflecting relative temporal constraints and fitness consequences among life-history stages. Time-selection can act at different scales, either by limiting the range of alternative strategies in the population, or by increasing the precision of individual performance. We tracked individual bar-tailed godwits Limosa lapponica baueri for two full years (including direct observation during non-breeding seasons in New Zealand and geolocator tracking of round-trip migrations to Alaska) to present a full annual-cycle view of molt, breeding, and migration schedules. At both population and individual scales, temporal variation was greater in post-breeding than pre-breeding stages, and greater in molts than in movements, but schedules did not tighten across successive stages of migration toward the breeding grounds. In general, individual godwits were quite consistent in timing of events throughout the year, and repeatability of pre-breeding movements was particularly high (r?=?0.82–0.92). However, we demonstrate that r values misrepresent absolute consistency by confounding inter- and intra-individual variation; the biological significance of r values can only be understood when these are considered separately. By doing so, we show that some stages have considerable tolerance for alternative strategies within the population, whereas scheduling of northbound migratory movements was similar for all individuals. How time-selection simultaneously shapes both individual and population variation is central to understanding and predicting adaptive phenological responses to environmental change. PMID:23342168
Battley, Phil F
Many migratory birds start prebreeding moult and premigratory fuelling some months before the breeding season and face severe time constraints, while travelling up to 15?000?km between non-breeding and breeding grounds. Shorebirds typically leave Southern Hemisphere non-breeding areas over a 3–4 week period, but whether they benefit from interannually consistent timing of departure is unknown. Here, I show that individual bar-tailed godwits (Limosa limosa baueri) from New Zealand are highly consistent in their migratory scheduling. Most birds left within the same week each year (between-year repeatability, r, of 0.83) and adult males, which moult into a bright breeding plumage, were also highly repeatable in the extent of their prebreeding moult (r=0.86). This is consistent with the hypothesis that birds have individually optimized migration schedules. Within adult males, but not females, smaller birds tended to migrate earlier than large birds. Whether this reflects differences in size-related migration speed, optimal breeding time at different sites or size-related natural or sexual selection pressures, remains unknown. PMID:17148277
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
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
Dechant, Jill A.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.; Euliss, Betty R.
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.
Gunnarsson, Tómas Grétar; Gill, Jennifer A; Newton, Jason; Potts, Peter M; Sutherland, William J
When species occupy habitats that vary in quality, choice of habitat can be critical in determining individual fitness. In most migratory species, juveniles migrate independently of their parents and must therefore choose both breeding and winter habitats. Using a unique dataset of marked black-tailed godwits (Limosa limosa islandica) tracked throughout their migratory range, combined with analyses of stable carbon isotope ratios, we show that those individuals that occupy higher quality breeding sites also use higher quality winter sites. This seasonal matching can severely inflate inequalities in individual fitness. This population has expanded over the last century into poorer quality breeding and winter habitats and, across the whole population; individual birds tend to occupy either novel or traditional sites in both seasons. Winter and breeding season habitat selection are thus strongly linked throughout this population; these links have profound implications for a wide range of population and evolutionary processes. As adult godwits are highly philopatric, the initial choice of winter habitat by juveniles will be critical in determining future survival, timing of migration and breeding success. PMID:16191646
Catry, Teresa; Alves, José A.; Gill, Jennifer A.; Gunnarsson, Tómas G.; Granadeiro, José P.
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
Burton, Niall H K; Armitage, Michael J S; Musgrove, Andrew J; Rehfisch, Mark M
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
Senner, Nathan R; Hochachka, Wesley M; Fox, James W; Afanasyev, Vsevolod
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
Gunnarsson, Tómas Grétar; Sutherland, William J.; Alves, José A.; Potts, Peter M.; Gill, Jennifer A.
The capacity of species to track changing environmental conditions is a key component of population and range changes in response to environmental change. High levels of local adaptation may constrain expansion into new locations, while the relative fitness of dispersing individuals will influence subsequent population growth. However, opportunities to explore such processes are rare, particularly at scales relevant to species-based conservation strategies. Icelandic black-tailed godwits, Limosa limosa islandica, have expanded their range throughout Iceland over the last century. We show that current male morphology varies strongly in relation to the timing of colonization across Iceland, with small males being absent from recently occupied areas. Smaller males are also proportionately more abundant on habitats and sites with higher breeding success and relative abundance of females. This population-wide spatial structuring of male morphology is most likely to result from female preferences for small males and better-quality habitats increasing both small-male fitness and the dispersal probability of larger males into poorer-quality habitats. Such eco-evolutionary feedbacks may be a key driver of rates of population growth and range expansion and contraction. PMID:21715406
Bocher, Pierrick; Robin, Frédéric; Kojadinovic, Jessica; Delaporte, Philippe; Rousseau, Pierre; Dupuy, Christine; Bustamante, Paco
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.
Visser, G H; Schekkerman, H
The doubly labeled water (DLW) method was validated against respiration gas analysis in growing precocial chicks of the black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) and the northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus). To calculate the rate of CO2 production from DLW measurements, Lifson and McClintock's equations (6) and (35) were employed, as well as Speakman's equation (7.17) (all single-pool models). The average errors obtained with the first two equations (+7.2% and -11.6%, respectively) differed significantly from zero but not the error obtained with Speakman's equation (average: -2.9%). The latter error could be reduced by taking a fractional evaporative water loss of 0.13, instead of the value of 0. 25 recommended by Speakman. Application of different two-pool models resulted in relative errors of the DLW method of -15.9% or more. After employing the single-pool model with a fractional evaporative water loss value of 0.13, it was found that there was no relationship between the relative growth rate of the chick and the relative error of the DLW method. Recalculation of previously published results on Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) chicks revealed that the fit of the validation experiment could be considerably improved by employing a single-pool model and assuming a fractional evaporative water loss of 0.20 instead of the value of 0.50 taken originally. After employing the value of 0.20, it was found that there was no relationship between the relative growth rate of the chick and the relative error of the DLW method. This suggests that isotope incorporation into new body substances does not cause a detectable error. Thus, the DLW method seems to be applicable in young birds growing as fast as 20% d-1, after making adjustments for the fractional evaporative water loss. We recommend Speakman's equation (7.17) for general use in growing birds when evaporation is unknown. PMID:10603338
Rothschild, Roger F N; Duffy, Lawrence K
Total mercury (THg), which includes both inorganic (Hg(2+)) and methylmercury (MeHg) species, has been reported for seabirds in the North Pacific and Alaska. For the Yup'ik and Aleut people of Alaska, waterfowl are a small but important seasonal component of the diet, but many Alaskan species have not been studied extensively for the presence of mercury. Birds are good subjects for examination of mercury concentrations because they feed at different trophic levels, they can be long-lived, and many are both abundant and widely distributed. In this study, we present the levels of mercury in muscle, brain, and bone tissue of 140 birds taken by subsistence food users across Western Alaska. THg wet weight mean concentrations in the 18 species of waterfowl surveyed ranged from 0.8 to 268.6 ng/g in muscle, from 0.4 to 197.7 ng/g in brain and from 0.7 to 422.9 ng/g in bone. The null hypothesis that there are no interspecific differences in the level of total mercury in the 18 species of Alaska birds surveyed was not supported. We found interspecific differences with the Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis), and the Black Scoter (Melanitta nigra), having the highest muscle tissue levels of THg. In general, THg mean levels were higher in muscle than in brain with the exceptions of the Bar-tailed Godwit and Northern Shoveler. Bone THg were highest in the Black Scoter. The mean values for THg in the species studied are unlikely to cause adverse reproductive or behavioral effects in the birds. PMID:16076480
peatland community domi- nated by mud sedge (Carex limosa) and excellent examples of a common carr type, Drummond's willow / beaked sedge (Salix drummondiana / Carex utriculata) Shrubland. Rare plant species
196 Carex paupercula. (A) Inflorescences, (B) pistillate scales, (C) perigynia, (D) achenes. B through D: Left--dorsal view; right--ventral view. A B C D #12;197 Carex paupercula Michx. Little sedge SPECIES: See C. limosa. #12;
Standiford, Richard B.
occurrences Mud sedge Carex limosa RA Bog disturbance Map and protect all discovered occurrences; protection with native forbs Awareness and education Davy's sedge Carex davyi EN Uncertain Map and protect all discovered of sphagnum bogs should protect this species Mariposa sedge* Carex mariposana AE Uncertain Map and protect
McIntire, Eliot J B; Waterway, Marcia J
Interspecific hybrid taxa, especially those with the potential for clonal spread, may play important roles in community dynamics and plant-pathogen interactions. This study combines the mapping of clonal structure for two rhizomatous sedges (Carex limosa, C. rariflora) and their nearly sterile interspecific hybrid with an investigation of the relationship between these taxa and a nonsystemic floral smut pathogen (Anthracoidea limosa) in six subarctic fens in Nouveau-Québec, Canada. We used allozyme polymorphisms in 14 of 18 putative loci to confirm hybrid identification and to distinguish among genotypes for mapping. The incidence of A. limosa was 5-20 times greater on hybrids than on parental taxa across all sites at two spatial scales (intensive extent = 10.5 m(2), extensive extent = entire fens). Spatial autocorrelation was detected in smut incidence; however, its statistical removal did not alter the strong association between hybrids and smut infection. Smut incidence on both C. limosa and hybrids was greater when they were growing in areas of high hybrid density. Our study provides evidence that disease can help maintain boundaries between species. We suggest explanations for hybrid susceptibility and provide evidence for a model in which hybrids act as a source for reinfection for all three taxa during subsequent years. PMID:21665665
ELIOT J. B. MCINTIRE
Interspecific hybrid taxa, especially those with the potential for clonal spread, may play important roles in community dynamics and plant-pathogen interactions. This study combines the mapping of clonal structure for two rhizomatous sedges (Carex limosa, C. rariflora ) and their nearly sterile interspecific hybrid with an investigation of the relationship between these taxa and a nonsystemic floral smut pathogen (
of Agriculture’s Agricultural Re- search Service, a substantial number have been evalu- ated for allelopathic effects on aquatic weeds-about 12,000 for ducksalad [Heteranthera limosa (Sw.) Willd] and around 5,000 for redstem (Ammannia coccinea Rottb.). In field...
Standiford, Richard B.
documented in the basin Musk thistle Carduus nutans EX T NT NT Davy's sedge Carex davyi EN T Mud sedge Carex limosa RA T One documentation; needs to be confirmed; occurs in sphagnum bogs Lake Tahoe Watershed Comments Mariposa sedge* Carex mariposana AE T Documented last year Diffuse knapweed Centaurea diffusa EX
About 4% of rice cultivars have demonstrated allelopathic potential against some of the most troublesome weed species in paddy fields, such as barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli), redstem (Ammannia species), Cyperus species and ducksalad (Heteranthera limosa). A tremendous international effort i...
Lesikar, Bruce J.; Enciso, Juan
hasta la superficie del suelo y protegerse con una buena tapa. Estos tubos ascendentes facilitan mucho el mantenimiento del tanque. Textura del suelo: Hay tres texturas de suelo: arenosa, limosa y arcillosa. La textura del suelo afecta la rapidez con la...
DERALD G. SMITH; STEPHEN M. HUBBARD; DALE A. LECKIE; MILOVAN FUSTIC
Counter point bar deposits in the meandering Peace River, North-central Alberta, Wood Buffalo National Park, are distinct from point bar deposits in terms of morphology, lithofacies and reservoir potential for fluids. Previously referred to as the distal-most parts of point bars, point bar tails and concave bank-bench deposits, counter point bar deposits have concave morphological scroll patterns rather than convex
K. von Weihe; G. Dreyling
In the ecology ofPuccinellia species (P. maritima, P. distans, P. retroflexa andP. limosa of the German flora described to date) two environmental factors seem to be very important: the salinity of the soil or of the tidal sea water and, especially in regard toP. maritima, the periodical inundation during the tidal cycle. The latter species forms an important community (Puccinellietum
Rijpstra, W Irene C; Reneerkens, Jeroen; Piersma, Theunis; Damsté, Jaap S Sinninghe
The intact C33-C52 diester wax esters of the preen gland of the shorebirds Limosa lapponica, Pluvialis squatarola, and Pluvialis fulva were determined, using synthesized standards, to comprise predominantly C12-C16 beta-hydroxy fatty acids esterified with a C8-C18 fatty acid at the beta-hydroxy position and with predominantly C12-C20 fatty alcohols esterified at the carboxyl group. PMID:17960891
Susanne Liebner; Simon P. Schwarzenbach; Josef Zeyer
Methane emissions and below ground methane pore water concentrations were determined in an alpine fen at 1,915 m a.s.l. in\\u000a central Switzerland. The fen represented an acidic (pH 4.5–4.9), nutrient-poor to mesotrophic habitat dominated by Carex limosa, Carex rostrata, Trichophorum caespitosum and Sphagnum species. From late fall to late spring the fen was snow-covered. Throughout winter the temperatures never dropped below
Braune, Birgit M; Noble, David G
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
Enciso, Juan; Porter, Dana; Peries, Xavier
1.9 (16) 0.8 (7) 1.1 (9) Marga arenosa 2.5 (21) 1.1 (9) 1.4 (12) Marga 3.2 (27) 1.4 (12) 1.8 (15) Marga limosa 3.6 (30) 1.8 (15) 1.8 (15) Marga arcillo-arenosa 4.3 (36) 2.4 (20) 1.9 (16) Arcilla arenosa 3.8 (32) 2.2 (18) 1.7 (14) Marga arcillosa 3...
Yamada, Chihaya; Matsuo, Yoshihide; Kasai, Hiroaki; Yokota, Akira; Yoon, Jaewoo
A novel actinobacterial strain, designated YM16-381(T), was isolated from sediments of Lake Nakaumi in Shimane Prefecture, Japan. The cell of the strain was motile, non-spore-forming and Gram-positive. The colony was gray-pink and circular on marine agar 2216 medium. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the strain belongs to the family Dermatophilaceae of the suborder Micrococcineae. The highest sequence similarity value of the isolate was 96.2% against Kineosphaera limosa. The diaminopimelic acid in the cell wall was meso-A2pm. The major menaquinone was MK-8(H4). The DNA G+C contents were 70.5 mol%. The major cellular fatty acids were C17:1?8c, C16:0, C15:0 and C18:1?9c. The major polar lipids were phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol and ninhydrin-positive phosphoglycolipid. On the basis of polyphasic taxonomic studies, strain YM16-381(T) represents a novel species of the genus Kineosphaera within the family Dermatophilaceae, for which the name Kineosphaera nakaumiensis sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is YM16-381(T) (=KCTC 29138(T)=NBRC 109121(T)). PMID:23518516
Tiiva, Päivi; Rinnan, Riikka; Faubert, Patrick; Räsänen, Janne; Holopainen, Toini; Kyrö, Esko; Holopainen, Jarmo K
Isoprene is a reactive hydrocarbon with an important role in atmospheric chemistry, and emissions from vegetation contribute to atmospheric carbon fluxes. The magnitude of isoprene emissions from arctic peatlands is not known, and it may be altered by increasing UV-B radiation. Isoprene emission was measured with the dynamic chamber method from a subarctic peatland under long-term enhancement of UV-B radiation targeted to correspond to a 20% loss in the stratospheric ozone layer. The site type of the peatland was a flark fen dominated by the moss Warnstorfia exannulata and sedges Eriophorum russeolum and Carex limosa. The relationship between species densities and the emission was also assessed. Isoprene emissions were significantly increased by enhanced UV-B radiation during the second (2004) and the fourth (2006) growing seasons under the UV-B exposure. Emissions were related to the density of E. russeolum. The dominant moss, W. exannulata, proved to emit small amounts of isoprene in a laboratory trial. Subarctic fens, even without Sphagnum moss, are a significant source of isoprene to the atmosphere, especially under periods of warm weather. Warming of the Arctic together with enhanced UV-B radiation may substantially increase the emissions. PMID:17888116
Knopf, Fritz L.
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.
Bart, Jonathan; Johnston, Victoria
We report results from shorebird surveys in the North American Arctic, defined here as Bird Conservation Regions 2 and 3 of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (http://www.nabci.net/International/English/bcrmap.html). The surveys estimate population size and trend, and provide information on habitat relationships, at the regional and Arctic-wide scale (Table 1, Fig 1). Of the 53 species of shorebirds that breed in the United States and Canada, 26 (47%) breed in the arctic in sufficient numbers that arctic surveys are an important part of monitoring programs for them (Brown et al. 2001, Donaldson et al. 2000; Table 1). Arctic-breeding shorebirds are a diverse group that exhibits a wide range of migration, reproductive, and wintering strategies (Table 1.1). Some species migrate a short distance to the northern United States and southern Canada (e.g. Purple Sandpiper; for scientific names, see Appendix D), while others undertake epic migrations to West Africa (e.g. Red Phalarope) or southern South America (e.g. Hudsonian Godwit, Red Knot). Some migrate in huge flocks, while others trickle south singly or in small groups. There are monogamous, polygamous, and polyandrous breeders, and most habitats in the Arctic provide nesting opportunities for shorebird species. Despite their different life history characteristics, all Arctic shorebird species share two traits: 1) they are all are migrants (none inhabit the Arctic year-round) and 2) because of their migratory behavior, all are exposed to anthropogenic hazards at some point(s) in their life cycle.
Bywater-Reyes, S.; Wilcox, A. C.; Manners, R.; Lightbody, A.
Plant-scale disruption to flow can result in upstream scour and downstream deposition, creating 'tail bars'. Tail bars have been postulated to exhibit airfoil geometries that reduce drag, causing a positive feedback whereby additional deposition of sediment results in growth of pioneer islands. We quantify the relative influence of vegetation morphology and grain size on morphodynamics by using ground-based LiDAR to scan trees and associated scour and tail bar features. We scanned trees of various growth stages and morphologies (Populus and Tamarix) in both sand- and gravel-bed settings. We post-process vegetation scans for hydrodynamic vegetation density, a proxy for leaf area index that we use in stress partitioning calculations to compare the magnitude of grain versus vegetation roughness. We also quantify the dimensions of upstream scour (maximum depth and volume) and downstream tail bar deposits (maximum height, width, length, volume). The vegetation and ground scans will be used to evaluate whether scour and tail bar geometries can be predicted from hydrodynamic vegetation density, and whether tail bars exhibit airfoil geometries in a manner that reduces drag. Field observations indicate single-stem trees (e.g. Populus) produce greater upstream scour but more subdued tail bar deposits, whereas multi-stem trees (e.g. Tamarix) produce less upstream scour but more tail bar deposition. Scour and tail bar features are more dramatic in the sand-bed setting compared to the gravel-bed, where grain roughness may play a larger role. Our research quantifies the magnitude of vegetation-morphodynamic feedbacks, with implications for plant community and landscape evolution in a multitude of riverine settings.
Larocque, Marie; Pellerin, Stéphanie; Cloutier, Vincent; Ferlatte, Miryane; Munger, Julie; Quillet, Anne; Paniconi, Claudio
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.
Sramkó, Gábor; Rudall, Paula J.
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
Matyjasik, M.; Ford, R. L.; Bartholomew, L. M.; Welsh, S. B.; Hernandez, M.; Koerner, D.; Muir, M.
Alpine wetlands of the Uinta Mountains, northeastern Utah, contain a variety of groundwater-dependent ecosystems. Unlike their counterparts in other areas of the Rocky Mountains, these systems have been relatively unstudied. The Reader Lakes area on the southern slope of the range was selected for detailed study because of its variety of wetland plant communities, homogenous bedrock geology, and minimal human impact. The primary goal of this interdisciplinary study is to establish the functional links between the geomorphology and hydrogeology of these high mountain wetlands and their constituent plant communities. In addition to traditional field studies and water chemistry, geospatial technologies are being used to organize and analyze both field data (water chemistry and wetland vegetation) and archived multispectral imagery (2006 NAIP images). The hydrology of these wetlands is dominated by groundwater discharge and their surface is dominated by string-and-flark morphology of various spatial scales, making these montane wetlands classic patterned fens. The drainage basin is organized into a series of large-scale stair-stepping wetlands, bounded by glacial moraines at their lower end. Wetlands are compartmentalized by a series of large strings (roughly perpendicular to the axial stream) and flarks. This pattern may be related to small ridges on the underlying ground moraine and possibly modified by beaver activity along the axial stream. Small-scale patterning occurs along the margins of the wetlands and in sloping-fen settings. The smaller-scale strings and flarks form a complex; self-regulating system in which water retention is enhanced and surface flow is minimized. Major plant communities have been identified within the wetlands for example: a Salix planifolia community associated with the peaty strings; Carex aquatilis, Carex limosa, and Eriophorum angustifolium communities associated with flarks; as well as a Sphagnum sp.- rich hummocky transition zone between wetland and non-wetland areas. On-going analyses of water-chemistry data will be used to identify discrete water sources and to characterize the degree of horizontal and vertical water mixing within the system, as well as to help identify the biochemical requirements of the different plant communities. Results indicate that the chemical composition of the main creek reflects the accumulative effect that the peaty flarks have on the creek as it passes through the wetland system, with pH overall decreasing from 7.3 to 7.0, dissolved oxygen decreasing from 9400 to 8400 micrograms per liter and total dissolved solids increasing from 9 mg/L to 13 mg/L. String ground water is characterized by relatively high pH (ranging from 6.0 to 7.1), high oxidizing-reducing potential (ORP) (ranging from 50 mV to 180 mV), high dissolved oxygen (from 2500 ?g/L to 9600 ?g /L) while flark ground water has relatively lower pH (5.6 to 6.8), low oxidizing reducing potential (ORP) (ranging from -66 mV to 150 mV), low dissolved oxygen (from 900 ?g /L to 9000 ?g /L).