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Temporal relationships between fish-eating birds and their prey in a north Swedish river
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science. (Animal Ecology)
1987 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The seasonal and diel feeding habits of the goosander, Mergus merganser, the red-breasted merganser, M. serrator, gulls (Larus canus, L. argentatus and L. fuscusj and terns, Sterna hirundo/paradisaea were studied at 64V05'N. Birds' activity patterns were influenced by the nocturnal spawning of the river lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis). Food selection and food consumption by hand-raised mergansers together with aquarium studies of the diel activity patterns of their most important prey supplemented the field data. River lamprey dominated the diet of the goosander by weight and the sculpin Cottus gobio by number. The fish consumption of the goosanders was found to be about 12% of the available river lamprey biomass and about 17% of the sculpin biomass during the breeding season.

In experimental situations the river lamprey was a low- pritority species compared with salmon , Salmo salar, brown trout, 53. trutta, and minnow, Phoxinus phoxinus, when presented to satiated birds of both Mergus species. When hungry, however, the birds caught the available prey irrespective of species, but they selected larger prey when two size classes were present. Experimental results were compared with field data on availability, consumption and the escape behaviour of the various fish species.

The rivers emptying in the Bothnian Bay are regarded as important feeding areas for birds breeding along the coast. In early spring they get access to abundant and reliable food resources, e.g the river lamprey. Later on the three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, supply both Mergus species with food in the river and also along the coast. From the middle of June potential food supply available to birds decreases in the rivers and becomes more abundant in the coastal area.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1987. , 41 p.
Keyword [en]
Seasonal and diel activity, food consumption, predator-prey relationships, fish-eating birds, anadromous fish, Mergus merganser, M. serrator, Sterna spp., Larus spp., Lampetra fluviatilis, Gasterosteus aculeatus
National Category
Ecology Zoology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100702ISBN: 91-7174-309-XOAI: diva2:793462
Public defence
1987-10-02, Sal C, LuO, Naturvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00

S. 1-41: sammanfattning, s. 43-227: 7 uppsatser

Available from: 2015-03-25 Created: 2015-03-06 Last updated: 2015-04-10Bibliographically approved

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