Battley, Phil F.; Warnock, Nils; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Gill, Robert E.; 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
Choe, Seongjun; Kim, Hyun; Lim, Junsik; Lee, Dongmin; Park, Hansol; Jeon, Hyeong-Kyu; Kim, Heejong; Kim, Youngjun; Eom, Keeseon S
In July 2014, a nematode species, Schistorophus cirripedesmi Rhizhikov and Khokhlova, 1964, was recovered from a bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica baueri that was stored in a -20˚C freezer in the Chungnam Wild Animal Rescue Center. The bird was collected in 2012 from the coastal region of Pyeongtaek-si (City), Gyeonggi-do (Province) in the Republic of Korea, although the exact date is not clear. At necropsy, 9 nematodes were found in the gizzard of the bird. The parasites had 4 horn-like cephalic cuticular ornamentations. After morphometric comparison and morphological observations, including scanning electron microscopy, the nematodes were identified as S. cirripedesmi. This is the first description of a nematode species in a shorebird in Korea. This is also the first time this genus and species have been found in Korea.
Choe, Seongjun; Kim, Hyun; Lim, Junsik; Lee, Dongmin; Park, Hansol; Jeon, Hyeong-Kyu; Kim, Heejong; Kim, Youngjun; Eom, Keeseon S.
In July 2014, a nematode species, Schistorophus cirripedesmi Rhizhikov and Khokhlova, 1964, was recovered from a bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica baueri that was stored in a -20˚C freezer in the Chungnam Wild Animal Rescue Center. The bird was collected in 2012 from the coastal region of Pyeongtaek-si (City), Gyeonggi-do (Province) in the Republic of Korea, although the exact date is not clear. At necropsy, 9 nematodes were found in the gizzard of the bird. The parasites had 4 horn-like cephalic cuticular ornamentations. After morphometric comparison and morphological observations, including scanning electron microscopy, the nematodes were identified as S. cirripedesmi. This is the first description of a nematode species in a shorebird in Korea. This is also the first time this genus and species have been found in Korea. PMID:27417093
Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Gartrell, Brett D.; Gill, Robert E.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.
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.
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, Theunis; Gill, R.E.
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.; 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
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.
Gill, Robert E.; Piersma, Theunis; Hufford, Gary; Servranckx, R.; Riegen, Adrian C.
Populations of the Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica; Scolopacidae) embark on some of the longest migrations known among birds. The baueri race breeds in westernAlaska and spends the nonbreeding season a hemisphere away inNew Zealand and eastern Australia; the menzbieri race breeds in Siberia and migrates to western and northern Australia. Although the Siberian birds are known to follow the coast of Asia during both migrations, the southern pathway followed by the Alaskabreeders has remained unknown. Two questions have particularecological importance: (1) do Alaska godwits migrate directly across the Pacific, a distance of 11 000 km? and (2) are they capable of doing this in a single flight without stopping to rest or refuel? We explored six lines of evidence to answer these questions. The distribution of resightings of marked birds of the baueri and menzbieri races was significantly different between northward and southward flights with virtually no marked baueri resighted along the Asian mainland during southward migration. The timing of southward migration of the two races further indicates the absence of a coastal Asia route by baueri with peak passage of godwits in general occurring there a month prior to the departure of most birds from Alaska. The use of a direct route across the Pacific is also supported by significantly more records of godwits reported from within a direct migration corridor than elsewhere in Oceania, and during the September to November period than at other times of the year. The annual but rare occurrence of Hudsonian Godwits (L. haemastica) in New Zealand and the absence of their records along the Asian mainland also support a direct flight and are best explained by Hudsonian Godwits accompanying Bar-tailed Godwits from known communal staging areas in Alaska. Flight simulation models, extreme fat loads, and the apparent evolution of a wind-selected migration from Alaska further support a direct, nonstop flight.
Klok, Chris; van der Hout, Annemariet; Bodt, Jos
Many soils are polluted with mixtures of moderate levels of contaminants. In The Netherlands 175,000 sites in rural areas are classified as highly polluted. However, it remains unclear to what extent local ecosystems are endangered. In this paper, we report on the effect of contaminants on earthworms in a meadow system. We tested a polluted and a reference field soil with similar soil characteristics and agricultural use. In the polluted soil copper, mercury, and lead were elevated by more than 200% compared with the reference soil. Bioassays on growth and reproduction in the earthworm species Lumbricus rubellus were executed in both soils, and a population model was used to assess the population-level consequences of changes in growth and reproduction. No significant effects were seen on reproduction and survival in L. rubellus, but development was retarded in the polluted soil. This resulted in a 23% lower growth rate and a change in demography toward younger individuals. Field data on population composition of earthworms were used to support the laboratory results, and the relevance of the results for the godwit (Limosa limosa), which mainly feeds on earthworms during the breeding season, is discussed.
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.
Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Senner, Nathan R.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Gill, Robert E.; 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.
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
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.
Duijns, Sjoerd; van Gils, Jan A; Spaans, Bernard; ten Horn, Job; Brugge, Maarten; Piersma, Theunis
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
Saalfeld, David T; Matz, Angela C; McCaffery, Brian J; Johnson, Oscar W; Bruner, Phil; Lanctot, Richard B
Many shorebird populations throughout North America are thought to be declining, with potential causes attributed to habitat loss and fragmentation, reduced prey availability, increased predation, human disturbance, and increased exposure to environmental pollutants. Shorebirds may be particularly vulnerable to contaminant exposure throughout their life cycle, as they forage primarily on invertebrates in wetlands, where many contaminants accumulate disproportionately in the sediments. Therefore, it is important to document and monitor shorebird populations thought to be at risk and assess the role that environmental contaminants may have on population declines. To investigate potential threats and provide baseline data on shorebird contaminant levels in Alaskan shorebirds, contaminant concentrations were evaluated in shorebird eggs from 16 species residing in seven geographic distinct regions of Alaska. Similar to previous studies, low levels of most inorganic and organic contaminants were found, although concentrations of several inorganic and organic contaminants were higher than those of previous studies. For example, elevated strontium levels were observed in several species, especially black oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) sampled in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Additionally, contaminant concentrations varied among species, with significantly higher concentrations of inorganic contaminants found in eggs of pectoral sandpiper (Calidris melanotos), semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla), black oystercatcher, and bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica). Similarly, significantly higher concentrations of some organic contaminants were found in the eggs of American golden plover (Pluvialis dominica), black-bellied plover (Pluvialis squatarola), pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva), bar-tailed godwit, and semipalmated sandpiper. Despite these elevated levels, current concentrations of contaminants in shorebird eggs suggest that breeding environments are
Gill, R.E.; Tibbitts, T.L.; Douglas, D.C.; Handel, C.M.; Mulcahy, D.M.; Gottschalck, J.C.; Warnock, N.; McCaffery, B.J.; Battley, Phil 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 8117-11680km (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.
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
A bar-tailed godwit, I thought, feeling rather smug. I was photographing wading birds at the nearby salt marshes, and was very pleased with myself, not only for recognising the creature, but for getting some reasonable pictures. I also saw a flock of migrant geese and some lapwings, so altogether it was a satisfying trip.
Gill, Robert E.; Handel, Colleen M.
A 6-year study of shorebird use of intertidal habitats of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta revealed this area to be one of the premiere sites for shorebirds throughout the Holarctic and worthy of designation as a Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. The study area, which covered 10% (300 km2) of the delta's intertidal flats, regularly hosted 17 species of shorebirds between late April and mid-October. The greatest use was during the postbreeding period (late June-October), when Dunlins (Calidris alpina), Western Sandpipers (C. mauri), and Rock Sandpipers (C. ptilocnemis), each with large local nesting populations, accounted for 95% of the shorebirds recorded. Peak counts during autumn approached 300,000 birds. Considering the seasonal occurrence and turnover of populations, we estimate 1-2 million shorebirds use the central delta each year. The delta supports large fractions of the Pacific Rim or world populations of Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica), Black Turnstones (Arenaria melanocephala), Red Knots (C. canutus), Western Sandpipers, Dunlins, and Rock Sandpipers. Densities of shorebirds using the central delta's four major bays and connecting coastal areas peaked at 950 shorebirds/km2 in early September. Hazen Bay frequently hosted more than 1,200 shorebirds/km2. Postbreeding shorebirds used intertidal habitats in three distinct patterns according to age class. For most species (n = 7), there was a period when adults appeared first, followed by a brief interval when adults and juveniles mixed, then by a prolonged period when only juveniles remained. In the second pattern (n = 3 species), adults moved onto the intertidal flats first, were later joined by juveniles for a prolonged staging period, then migrated with them. In the third pattern (n = 3 species), only juveniles used the delta's intertidal habitat. Temporal segregation among species and age groups may minimize competition for food and thereby allow the delta to
Gutierrez, J.S.; Dietz, M.W.; Masero, J.A.; Gill, R.E.; Dekinga, Anne; Battley, Phil F.; Sanchez-Guzman, J. M.; Piersma, Theunis
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
Lanctot, Richard B.; Gill, R.E.; Tibbitts, T.L.; Handel, C.M.
Pluvialis fulva, Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, Western Sandpiper Cal-idris mauri and Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus. Curlews and other larger bodied species commonly attack-mobbed predators together, whereas smaller bodied species generally gave alarm calls and circled the predators. For all species, the intensity of antipredator defence by attending adults gradually decreased as young became older and aggregations formed. We suggest that amalgamation of broods among Bristle-thighed Curlew enhances predator defence, aids in the process of flock formation for migrating young, and allows females and some males to desert their young earlier.
Catry, Teresa; Alves, José A.; Gill, Jennifer A.; Gunnarsson, Tómas G.; Granadeiro, José P.
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.
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.
Mendoza, Luis Francisco; Carmona, Roberto
Baja California Peninsula has several wetlands that represent important ecosystems for shorebirds. San Ignacio Lagoon is one of these sites, and supports 10% of the total abundance of shorebirds reported in this Peninsula. Since there is few information about this group in this area, we studied spatial and temporal changes in abundance and distribution of shorebirds in San Ignacio Lagoon. For this, we conducted twelve monthly censuses (October 2007-September 2008) on the entire internal perimeter of the lagoon, which we divided into four areas: two at the North and two at the South. We observed a seasonal pattern, with the lowest abundance in May (1 585 birds) and the highest in October (47 410). The most abundant species were Marbled Godwits (Limosa fedoa; 55% of the total records), Western Sandpipers (Calidris mauri; 23%), and Willet (Tringa semipalmata; 10%). All three species were more abundant in autumn; for both, the Marbled Godwit and Willet, we observed their highest numbers in winter and spring, while the Western Sandpiper showed noticeable oscillations, reaching a maximum in early winter (December). In summer, Marbled Godwit and Willet were the only birds present but in lower numbers. Here present the first records of the Pacific Red Knot (Calidris canutus roselaari) in the area. Bird abundance and species richness were influenced seasonally by migration and spatially by sites in the lagoon. The greatest shorebird abundance was in the South area of the lagoon, probably because of better accessibility to food. Our results allowed the inclusion of San Ignacio Lagoon in the Western Hemisphere Shorebirds Reserve Network (WHSRN) as a site of international importance.
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
Santos, Susana S; Pardal, Sara; Proença, Diogo N; Lopes, Ricardo J; Ramos, Jaime A; Mendes, Luísa; Morais, Paula V
The diversity of the cloacal microbial community in migratory shorebirds, caught at the Tagus estuary, Portugal, was assessed by cultivation (R2A and Nutrient Agar media) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profiling (DGGE) to provide a better understanding of the birds' potential to harbor and disperse pathogens. Three different bird species belonging to four different populations were studied: common redshank (Tringa totanus), black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus) and nominate and Icelandic populations of black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa). DGGE profiling and partial 16S RNA gene sequences of 240 isolates, and 26 DGGE bands resulting in 58 clones, were analyzed. Most isolates were members of the phylum Firmicutes and Actinobacteria and only a small portion belonged to the Proteobacteria and Deinococcus-Thermus phyla. Potentially pathogenic strains carried by the birds were found such as Helicobacter and Staphylococcus in all bird species, and Clostridium, Mycobacterium, Rhodococcus, Legionella and Corynebacterium in black-winged stilts. Unexpectedly, bacteria from the phylum Deinococcus-Thermus were isolated in shorebirds and were present in all the bird species studied.
Granadeiro, José P.; Dias, Maria P.; Martins, Ricardo C.; Palmeirim, Jorge M.
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.
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 (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) 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.
Ponsero, Alain; Sturbois, Anthony; Desroy, Nicolas; Le Mao, Patrick; Jones, Auriane; Fournier, Jérôme
The relationship between foraging shorebirds, macrobenthos and sedimentary parameters has been widely studied across Western Europe. Megatidal areas have large zones uncovered when the water retreats. Consequently, in such cases, the tide also influences foraging activities. This paper examines the use of an intertidal space by waders to define how macrobenthic resource concentrates foraging activity of birds in a large megatidal sandflat. This approach combines accurate spatial distribution of waders (Oystercatcher, Eurasian curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit and Redknot) according to their activity with ecological/biological parameters. A differential exploitation of the flat is clearly shown, with macrobenthic biomass appearing as one of the main explanatory factor for the four species considered on the western part of the bay and altitude (shore elevation) in the eastern part. The novelty of this study relates to the large area, also presumed to be a functional unit, while considering at the same time the singularities of the different parts of the flat. This multi-scale approach identifies important factors influencing the differential distribution patterns observed. The different selected parameters present an important variability in their contribution, underlining the complexity of explaining the distribution of foraging birds. Consequently, the study of such complex phenomena needs to consider additional variables to improve the relevance of explanatory models.
Lucia, Magali; Bocher, Pierrick; Chambosse, Mélanie; Delaporte, Philippe; Bustamante, Paco
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.
Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Gill, Robert E.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Kentie, Rosemarie; Gerritsen, Gerrit J.; Bruinzeel, Leo W.; Tijssen, David C.; Harwood, Christopher M.; Piersma, Theunis
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
Haig, Susan M.; Gratto-Trevor, C. L.; Mullins, Thomas D.; Colwell, M.A.
Identification of relationships among geographically distinct populations of migratory species can provide an understanding of breeding and natal philopatry, migration pathways, and population mixing during winter. We used random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analyses to search for markers specific to difficult-to-differentiate shorebird species (e.g. long-billed dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus and short-billed dowitcher L. griseus) as well as geographically distinct breeding populations of Hudsonian godwits Limosa haemastica, red-necked phalaropes Phalaropus lobatus, semipalmated plovers Charadrius semipalmatus, dunlin Calidris alpina, pectoral sandpipers C. melanotos, semipalmated sandpipers C. pusilla and western sandpipers C. mauri. Markers clearly differentiated all shorebird species. Estimates of population differentiation varied greatly among species (FST= 0.095a??0.685) and correlated with interspecific variation in philopatry and geographical separation of breeding populations. We assigned individuals to putative breeding locales with greater certainty in well-differentiated species than in poorly differentiated species. Our findings indicate specific phylogeographical structure varies among species, which has strong implications for conservation of habitats within migratory corridors. We suggest that RAPDs are useful in identifying geographical populations of migratory species and that molecular markers should be considered for tracking migratory birds throughout the annual cycle.
Senner, Nathan R.; Verhoeven, Mo A.; Abad-Go´mez, Jose´ M.; Gutie´rrez, Jorge S.; Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Kentie, Rosemarie; Masero, Jose´ A.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Piersma, Theunis
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.
Douglas, D. C.; Durner, G. M.; Gill, R. E.; Griffith, B.; Schmutz, J. A.
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
6 Nitzschia species .3 Reimeria sinuata .3 Rhoicosphenia curvata .3 Synedra species .3 CHLOROPHYTA (Green algae) Gongrosira species 7...angustissima 3 Oscillatoria limosa 18.9 Oscillatoria species 14.5 Synechococcus lineare .3 0.2 Melosira varians 0.8 .2 .1 .9 CHLOROPHYTA (Green...Stauroneb anceps .3 Surirella angus ta ta .3 Synedra species .3 CHLOROPHYTA (Green algae) Chlorococcum species Coteochaetae species Cosmarium species
Han, Sang-Hyun; Oh, Hong-Shik
To reveal the dietary ecology of the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), we conducted a molecular analysis for mitochondrial genes (COI and CYTB) to identify the prey species collected from a feeding place found on Sasu Island, South Korea. The results from noninvasive genetic analysis showed that the sequences obtained came from nine species of birds (Cuculus canorus, Eurystomus orientalis, Limosa limosa, Microscelis amaurotis, Oriolus chinensis, Phasianus colchicus, Sterna hirundo, Streptopelia orientalis, and Turdus pallidus). Five of the species (C. canorus, M. amaurotis, S. hirundo, S. orientalis, and T. pallidus) had previously been observed on this island, but the other four species (E. orientalis, L. limosa, O. chinensis, and P. colchicus) were newly identified as present. No mtDNA sequences of land animals such as amphibians, reptiles, and mammals were found in the dietary remains, suggesting that the peregrine falcon preys mostly on other birds rather than on other animals inhabiting Sasu Island. This island has rich avian diversity and abundant animal populations and therefore supplies sufficient dietary resources for the peregrine falcon. Our findings suggested that a DNA-based molecular method may be useful to identify the prey species of these birds and may be valuable in future studies of the Endangered peregrine falcon.
Hamann, Emmo; Gruber-Vodicka, Harald; Kleiner, Manuel; Tegetmeyer, Halina E.; Riedel, Dietmar; Littmann, Sten; Chen, Jianwei; Milucka, Jana; Viehweger, Bernhard; Becker, Kevin W.; Dong, Xiaoli; Stairs, Courtney W.; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Brown, Matthew W.; Roger, Andrew J.; Strous, Marc
Summary Breviatea form a lineage of free living, unicellular protists, distantly related to animals and fungi1–3. This lineage emerged almost one billion years ago, when the oceanic oxygen content was low, and extant Breviatea have evolved or retained an anaerobic lifestyle4. Here we report the cultivation of Lenisia limosa, gen. et sp. nov., a newly discovered breviate colonized by relatives of animal-associated Arcobacter. Physiological experiments showed that the association of L. limosa with Arcobacter was driven by the transfer of hydrogen and was mutualistic, providing benefits to both partners. With whole genome sequencing and differential proteomics we show that an experimentally observed fitness gain of L. limosa could be explained by the activity of a so far unknown type of NAD(P)H accepting hydrogenase, which was expressed in the presence, but not in the absence of Arcobacter. Differential proteomics further revealed that the presence of Lenisia stimulated expression of known “virulence” factors by Arcobacter. These proteins typically enable colonization of animal cells during infection5, but may in the present case act for mutual benefit. Finally, re-investigation of two currently available transcriptomic datasets of other Breviatea4 revealed the presence and activity of related hydrogen-consuming Arcobacter, indicating that mutualistic interaction between these two groups of microbes might be pervasive. Our results support the notion that molecular mechanisms involved in virulence can also support mutualism6 as shown here for Arcobacter and Breviatea. PMID:27279223
Gomes, S N; Pesenti, T C; Cirne, M P; Müller, G
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.
Silveira, T C L; Gama, A M S; Alves, T P; Fontoura, N F
This study aimed to model the habitat suitability for an invasive clam Corbicula fluminea in a coastal shallow lagoon in the southern Neotropical region (-30.22, -50.55). The lagoon (19km2, maximum deep 2.5m) was sampled with an Ekman dredge in an orthogonal matrix comprising 84 points. At each sampling point, were obtained environmental descriptors as depth, organic matter content (OMC), average granulometry (Avgran), and the percentage of sand (Pcsand). Prediction performance of Generalized Linear Models (GLM), Generalized Additive Models (GAM) and Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) were compared. Also, niche overlapping with other native clam species (Castalia martensi, Neocorbicula limosa and Anodontites trapesialis) was examined. A BRT model with 1400 trees was selected as the best model, with cross-validated correlation of 0.82. The relative contributions of predictors were Pcsand-42.6%, OMC-35.8%, Avgran-10.9% and Depth-10.8%. Were identified that C. fluminea occur mainly in sandy sediments with few organic matter, in shallow areas nor by the shore. The PCA showed a wide niche overlap with the native clam species C. martensi, N. limosa and A. trapesialis.
Green, Andy J; Sánchez, Marta I
It has long been assumed that the resistant eggs of many zooplankton are able to survive passage through the gut of migratory waterbirds, thus facilitating their dispersal between isolated aquatic habitats. We present the first evidence that such passive internal transport within birds may be relevant for insect populations. In three out of six faecal samples from black-tailed Godwits on autumn migration in southwest Spain, we found larvae of the chironomid Chironomus salinarius which had survived gut passage. Although adult chironomids can fly, they are likely to disperse greater distances when transported as larvae via birds. In insects with discrete generations, such passive transport also enables colonization of new habitats at times when flight by adults is not an option. PMID:17148325
Ghinassi, Massimiliano; Ielpi, Alessandro; Aldinucci, Mauro; Fustic, Milovan
-bar deposits can be controlled by aggradation at the scale of the entire meander belt. Despite their different preservation potential, the sedimentology of downstream-bar deposits is overall similar to that of expansional bars, since a downstream decrease in grain size and dominance of upbar-directed palaeoflows are observed in both cases. Bar-tail deposits are instead distinctive of DMFPB, specifically when channel-flow impinges at high angle against river outer banks. There, fine-grained counter-point bars or coarse-grained eddy-accretion deposits can accumulate. Channel belts dominated by DMFPB develop cross-sectional configurations featuring two main marginal trenches, commonly filled with bar tail deposits.
Bryant, Robert G.; Gilvear, David J.
The potential of high resolution multi-spectral airborne remote sensing to detect and quantify changes in channel morphology and riparian land cover are illustrated. The River Tay is a partially embanked wandering gravel bed river, and Airborne Thematic Mapper data, which collect reflectance in the visible, near, mid and thermal infrared, were acquired in 1992 and 1994 either side of a 1:65 recurrence-interval flood event. Imagery was radiometrically, atmospherically and geometrically corrected in order to minimise atmospheric and geometric changes between the 1992 and 1994 scenes. A maximum likelihood classifier was then used on each image and change was quantitatively mapped using a classification comparison approach. Bathymetric mapping was undertaken by applying a Lyzenga algorithm to ATM bands 5, 6 and 8 to account for an exponential decrease in electromagnetic radiation penetration through the water column with depth. Despite the magnitude of the flood event, no major changes in channel position or form occurred but the change detection algorithms revealed subtle changes not observed in the field. Bar head accretion, bar tail formation and extension, bar dissection, localised bank erosion and the overriding of low level vegetated islands by gravel lobes were the main forms of change. On the floodplain, flood embankment failures resulted in fans of sands and gravels on agricultural land. More generally, the study reveals the potential for using airborne remote sensing to detect change in fluvial systems and as a mutually complementary tool to field survey.
Wang, Kai; Zhao, Huabin
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.
Wang, Kai; Zhao, Huabin
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
Chaturvedi, Prashant; Kumar Agrawal, Manish; Nath Bagchi, Suvendra
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.
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 C17:1ω8c, C16:0, C15:0 and C18:1ω9c. 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)).
Borsodi, Andrea K; Bárány, Ágnes; Krett, Gergely; Márialigeti, Károly; Szili-Kovács, Tibor
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.
Izaguirre, G; Taylor, W D
Diamond Valley Lake is a large drinking water reservoir in western Riverside County, California near the city of Hemet. In almost 6 years since filling began in 1999, this reservoir has experienced five episodes involving either geosmin or 2-methylisoborneol (MIB). The first one was a short-lived but intense geosmin event in May 2000, associated with a planktonic cyanobacterium, Anabaena circinalis. Geosmin levels reached 750 ng/L at the surface. All the other episodes involved benthic proliferations in the littoral zone. In September 2002, an MIB-producing growth developed in a shallow area near the outlet tower, dominated by Oscillatoria cf. curviceps and O. limosa. A similar event occurred in October 2003. In March 2004, an extensive growth of cyanobacteria that included two geosmin producers developed at the east dam, but had minimal effect on geosmin levels in the water. Finally, there was a major MIB episode in October 2004, in which the primary causative organism was again Oscillatoria cf. curviceps. A band of benthic cyanobacteria developed all around the shoreline from 3-9 m deep, and surface MIB levels reached 63 ng/L. These events showed that a new reservoir in a mild climate can be colonised by benthic cyanobacteria that produce MIB and geosmin, within a relatively short time.
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.
Shope, Christopher L.; Constantz, James E.; Cooper, Clay A.; Reeves, Donald M.; Pohll, Greg; McKay, W. Alan
Substantial research on how hydraulic and geomorphologic factors control hyporheic exchange has resulted in reasonable process understanding; however, the role of fluvial islands on the transient nature of spatial flux patterns remains elusive. We used detailed field observations of the Truckee River, Nevada from 2003 to 2009 to quantify fluid flux between the river and a fluvial island, the streambed, and the adjacent stream bank. We constructed a 3-D numerical flow and heat transport model to further quantify the complex flow paths. Our study expands on previous research typically confined to less comprehensive scales and dimensions, and highlights the transient multidimensionality of the flow field. In fact, 1-D vertical streambed flux estimates indicated that the channel bar tail displayed the highest upward flux throughout the summer; however, 3-D model results indicated that the horizontal contribution was two orders of magnitude higher than the vertical contribution. The channel bar net flux is typically 1.5 orders of magnitude greater than the adjacent stream banks and an order of magnitude less than net streambed fluxes, indicating significant differences in river-aquifer interactions between each of the geomorphic units. Modeling simulations further indicated that the channel bar induces 6 times more fluid flux than an identical location without a fluvial island, consistent with flux estimates from a nearby river restoration location. Moreover, event-based and seasonal transient antecedent moisture and near-stream storage conditions contribute to multidimensional river-groundwater interactions. These results suggest that fluvial islands are a key driver and significant component of river-groundwater interactions and hyporheic flow.
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.
Lafferty, Kevin D; Rodriguez, Donald A; Chapman, Angela
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.
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.
Mobilicoccus pelagius gen. nov., sp. nov. and Piscicoccus intestinalis gen. nov., sp. nov., two new members of the family Dermatophilaceae, and reclassification of Dermatophilus chelonae (Masters et al. 1995) as Austwickia chelonae gen. nov., comb. nov.
Hamada, Moriyuki; Iino, Takao; Iwami, Takahiro; Harayama, Shigeaki; Tamura, Tomohiko; Suzuki, Ken-ichiro
Two Gram-positive bacteria, designated strains Aji5-31(T) and Ngc37-23(T), were isolated from the intestinal tracts of fishes. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis indicated that both strains were related to the members of the family Dermatophilaceae, with 95.6-96.9% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities. The family Dermatophilaceae contains 2 genera and 3 species: Dermatophilus congolensis, Dermatophilus chelonae and Kineosphaera limosa. However, it has been suggested that the taxonomic position of D. chelonae should be reinvestigated using a polyphasic approach, because the chemotaxonomic characteristics are not known (Stackebrandt, 2006; Stackebrandt and Schumann, 2000). Our present study revealed that strains Aji5-31(T), Ngc37-23(T) and D. chelonae NBRC 105200(T) should be separated from the other members of the family Dermatophilaceae on the basis of the following characteristics: the predominant menaquinone of strain Aji5-31(T) is MK-8(H(2)), strain Ngc37-23(T) possesses iso- branched fatty acids as major components, and the menaquinone composition of D. chelonae is MK-8(H(4)), MK-8 and MK-8(H(2)) (5 : 3 : 2, respectively). On the basis of these distinctive phenotypic characteristics and phylogenetic analysis results, it is proposed that strains Aji5-31(T) and Ngc37-23(T) be classified as two novel genera and species of the family Dermatophilaceae. The names are Mobilicoccus pelagius gen. nov., sp. nov. and Piscicoccus intestinalis gen. nov., sp. nov., and the type strains are Aji5-31(T) (=NBRC 104925(T) =DSM 22762(T)) and Ngc37-23(T) (=NBRC 104926(T) =DSM 22761(T)), respectively. In addition, D. chelonae should be reassigned to a new genus of the family Dermatophilaceae with the name Austwickia chelonae gen. nov., comb. nov.
Fayton, Thomas J; Curran, Stephen S; Andres, Michael J; Overstreet, Robin M; McAllister, Chris T
Two species of digeneans belonging in Homalometron are described from Nearctic freshwater fundulid fishes: Homalometron robisoni n. sp. is described from the Blackstripe Topminnow, Fundulus notatus, from Oklahoma and Homalometron frocioneae n. sp. is described from the Banded Killifish, Fundulus diaphanus, from New York. Homalometron robisoni n. sp. differs from all congeners by having vitelline follicles that extend into the forebody, a feature that necessitates altering the generic diagnosis for the genus. Homalometron frocioneae n. sp. may be distinguished from North and Middle American congeners by the position of the intestinal bifurcation (relatively more posterior in the forebody than in other species) and tegumental spine coverage on the body (spines are absent from the posterior body extremity and on most of the dorsal surface). Comparison of ribosomal DNA (ITS 1 and 2 regions, 5.8S gene, and partial fragment of 28S gene) from the 2 new species and some congeners from the Western Hemisphere provided evidence for the validity of the 2 new species and affirmed a close relationship between H. robisoni n. sp. and Homalometron pallidum. Comparison of ribosomal DNA from newly collected Homalometron spp. and larval stages of an apocreadiid from brackish water hydrobiid snails (cercariae in rediae in Littoridinops palustris and metacercariae in L. palustris and Amnicola limosa ) from a tidal river in Mississippi revealed that larval stages represented Homalometron cupuloris. A phylogeny based on Bayesian inference analysis using partial 28S rDNA gene fragments from 14 species of Homalometron (all from the Western Hemisphere) and 1 megaperine and rooted by a second megaperine was conducted and produced a strongly supported phylogram that estimates the interrelationships among species. The estimated phylogeny suggests that ecological factors such as salinity and food web interactions between species of Homalometron, intermediate hosts, and fishes drive
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
Hernández, Salvador; Serrano, Sergio; Hernández, Xóchitl A; Robles, María Isabel
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.
Drollinger, Simon; Glatzel, Stephan
In peatland ecosystems, plant production exceeds decomposition due to their typical characteristic of waterlogged soils leading to peatland growth and an accumulation of thick organic soil layers. As a result, peatlands constitute a major global storage of carbon (C) by storing about 612 PgC in their peat, thus representing the most space-effective C stocks of all terrestrial ecosystems, similar in magnitude as the increasing atmospheric C pool (~ 850 PgC). However, little is known about the effects of climate change on peatlands and the contribution of Alpine peatlands as a source of greenhouse gases in the course of a changing climate. It is debatable how land-use changes and ongoing degradation of Alpine peatlands affect the peatland-atmosphere C exchange. On the one hand, more C may sequester due to increased plant growth in a warmer climate, on the other hand large amounts of respired C may release as a consequence of higher temperatures and lowered peatland water table depths due to increasing evaporation rates and extending drought periods. To examine the potential effects of climate change on the peatland carbon exchange with the atmosphere, we calculated CO2 and CH4 fluxes using the eddy covariance method. The investigated ombrotrophic peatland is located on the bottom of the Styrian Enns valley at an altitude of 632 m above sea level. It is a slightly degraded pine peat bog (62 ha) with a closed peat moss cover featuring the three plant associations Pino mugo-Sphagnetum magellanici, Sphagnetum magellanici, and Caricetum limosae, according to the prevailing hydrological site conditions. During summer drought in 2015, the water level decreased from an annual average water level of -10.44 cm to -28.50 cm below surface at the centre of the peat bog. Here, we present diurnal pattern of CO2 and CH4 fluxes during an extraordinary dry summer and compare them to calculated fluxes during periods characterised by precipitation and higher peat water levels of the
Bateman, Richard M; 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
Grenaderova, Anna; Sharafutdinov, Ruslan
with most stable hydrological conditions. During this period, the flood waters have supplied the least amount of allochthonous contaminants on the surface of the swamp. On the peatlands, sedge and sedge-moss plant communities were developed. Main plant species which grows in the peatlands are Carex altaica (Gorodk.) V.Krecz, Carex limosa L. Tomentypnum nitens Hedw., Aulacomnium palustre (Hedw.) Schwaegr., Warnstorfia exannulata (B.S.G.) Loeske., Thelypteris palustris Schott, Baeothryon caespitosum (L.) A.Dietr. During the last 500 years an increase of allochthonous contaminants inputs to marsh sediments is observed. In our opinion, the main causes of the increase were reduction the forest area, sharper contrast of summer and winter temperatures and more rapid melting of snow in early summer. The last cause lead to increased levels of floods. Eutrophic-mesotrophic sphagnum communities (Sphagnum warnstorfii Russ., Sph.subsecundum Nees,, Sphagnum angustifolium Jensen., Sph. fuscum (Schimp.) Klinggr.), which are growing at the moment, begin to develop in the peatlands since 500 years ago.
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
Juszczak, Radosław; Chojnicki, Bogdan; Urbaniak, Marek; Leśny, Jacek; Silvennoinen, Hanna; Lamentowicz, Mariusz; Basińska, Anna; Gąbka, Maciej; Stróżecki, Marcin; Samson, Mateusz; Łuców, Dominika; Józefczyk, Damian; Hoffmann, Mathias; Olejnik, Janusz
conditions led to increases in NDVI and LAI, whilst the site exposed to only drought exhibited the lowest LAI. Warming shifted the vegetation species composition by promoting vascular plants (mainly Carex rostrata and C. limosa), which result also correlates positively with nutrient (Ptot, Mn, F, Na, Zn) availability in the peat water. Here, we report short-term responses to increased temperature and diminished precipitation, showing that the combination of these to stressors leads to very different scenario than their individual impacts. Our results further emphasize the need for long term records from field manipulation site on peatland response to climate changes. The Research was co-founded by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development within the Polish-Norwegian Research Programme within the WETMAN project (Central European Wetland Ecosystem Feedbacks to Changing Climate - Field Scale Manipulation, Project ID: 203258, contract No. Pol-Nor/203258/31/2013 (www.wetman.pl). References Fenner N., Freeman Ch. (2011). Nature Geoscience, 4, 895-900 Hoffmann M., et al. (2015). Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 200, 30-45 Kimball BA. (2005). Global Change Biology, 11, 2041-2056