Browsing by Subject "WATERFOWL"

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  • Fraixedas, Sara; Burgas, Daniel; Robson, David; Camps, Joachim; Barriocanal, Carles (2020)
    Mediterranean European rice fields provide important habitats for migrating waterbirds. In winter. one waterbird species that particularly benefits from rice fields is the Northern Lapwing (VaneIlus vanellas), a species threatened in Europe. To assess the effect of agii-environmental measures on rice field selection and use by wintering lapwings, bird counts were conducted in northeastern Spain during two consecutive winters (2005-2006 and 2006-2007). Information on two mandatory post-harvest management prescriptions of the agri-environment schemes was collected, namely winter flooding (percent ground surface covered by water) and whether fields were rolled or not. The number of lapwings in rolled fields was significantly higher compared to non-rolled fields. For instance. an average rolled field with 50% water cover (percentage at which lapwing abundance more or less peaked) would host an estimated 12.03 +/- 0.52 SE lapwings versus 0.18 +/- 0.58 in a non-rolled field. While the maximum abundance of lapwings in rolled fields was found at an intermediate percentage of water cover (about 25 to 75%), the number of lapwings increased steadily with water cover in non-rolled fields. Rice post-harvest practices derived from the agri-environment schemes are beneficial for biodiversity, promoting the conservation of suitable habitats for waterbirds.
  • Pöysä, Hannu; Holopainen, Sari; Elmberg, Johan; Gunnarsson, Gunnar; Nummi, Petri; Sjöberg, Kjell (2019)
    Global measures of biodiversity indicate consistent decline, but trends reported for local communities are more varied. Therefore, we need better understanding of mechanisms that drive changes in diversity of local communities and of differences in temporal trends between components of local diversity, such as species richness and species turnover rate. Freshwater ecosystems are vulnerable to multiple stressors, and severe impacts on their biodiversity have been documented. We studied species richness and composition of local boreal waterbird communities in 1990/1991 and 2016 at 58 lakes distributed over six regions in Finland and Sweden. The study lakes represented not only local trophic gradients but also a latitudinal gradient in the boreal biome. While species richness tended to be lower in 2016 than in 1990/1991, species turnover was relatively high. Within foraging guilds, local species richness of diving ducks and surface feeding waterbirds decreased, whereas that of large herbivores increased. The number of species gained in local communities was higher in lakes with rich vegetation than in lakes with sparse vegetation. Conservation of boreal freshwater ecosystems would benefit from recognizing that large-scale environmental changes can affect local diversity via processes operating at finer scales.
  • Pöysä, Hannu; Rintala, Jukka; Johnson, Douglas H.; Kauppinen, Jukka; Lammi, Esa; Nudds, Thomas D.; Väänänen, Veli-Matti (2016)
    Density dependence, population regulation, and variability in population size are fundamental population processes, the manifestation and interrelationships of which are affected by environmental variability. However, there are surprisingly few empirical studies that distinguish the effect of environmental variability from the effects of population processes. We took advantage of a unique system, in which populations of the same duck species or close ecological counterparts live in highly variable (north American prairies) and in stable (north European lakes) environments, to distinguish the relative contributions of environmental variability (measured as between-year fluctuations in wetland numbers) and intraspecific interactions (density dependence) in driving population dynamics. We tested whether populations living in stable environments (in northern Europe) were more strongly governed by density dependence than populations living in variable environments (in North America). We also addressed whether relative population dynamical responses to environmental variability versus density corresponded to differences in life history strategies between dabbling (relatively "fast species" and governed by environmental variability) and diving (relatively "slow species" and governed by density) ducks. As expected, the variance component of population fluctuations caused by changes in breeding environments was greater in North America than in Europe. Contrary to expectations, however, populations in more stable environments were not less variable nor clearly more strongly density dependent than populations in highly variable environments. Also, contrary to expectations, populations of diving ducks were neither more stable nor stronger density dependent than populations of dabbling ducks, and the effect of environmental variability on population dynamics was greater in diving than in dabbling ducks. In general, irrespective of continent and species life history, environmental variability contributed more to variation in species abundances than did density. Our findings underscore the need for more studies on populations of the same species in different environments to verify the generality of current explanations about population dynamics and its association with species life history.
  • Sauvala, Mikaela; Woivalin, Emma; Kivistö, Rauni; Laukkanen-Ninios, Riikka; Laaksonen, Sauli; Stephan, Roger; Fredriksson-Ahomaa, Maria (2021)
    Game birds may carry zoonotic bacteria in their intestines and transmit them to hunters through bird handling or through the handling and consumption of contaminated meat. In this study, the prevalence of foodborne bacteria was screened from game bird faeces and mallard breast meat using PCR. The sampling occurred in southern Finland from August to December during the hunting season. Isolates were characterized by multi-locus sequence typing. Mesophilic aerobic bacteria and Escherichia coli counts were used to assess the microbial contamination of mallard meat. In total, 100 woodpigeon (Columba palumbus), 101 pheasants (Phasianus colchicus), 110 mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and 30 teals (Anas crecca) were screened during the hunting season. Additionally, 100 mallard breast meat samples were collected. Campylobacter and Listeria were commonly detected in the faeces and Listeria on mallard meat. L. monocytogenes of sequence types associated with human listeriosis were frequently found in game bird faeces and on mallard meat. Good hygiene during game bird handling, storing the game bird meat frozen, and proper heat treatment are important measures to minimize the health risk for hunters and consumers.