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Title: Short-term effects of intertidal macroalgal blooms on the macrohabitat selection and feeding behaviour of wading birds in the Mondego estuary (West Portugal).
Authors: Múria, Tiago
Cabral, João Alexandre
Marques, João Carlos
Goss-Custard, John D.
Keywords: Macroalgae blooms
Effects on waders
Mondego Estuary
Issue Date: 1996
Citation: Múrias T. et al., 1996
Abstract: The possible effects of intertidal macroalgal blooms on the feeding distribution and behaviour of the waders in the Mondego Estuary (West Portugal) are discussed in the present paper. The presence of algae over the sediments did not deter the waders absolutely from feeding in a place, but most species did show some tendency to avoid highly eutrophic areas. However, there were no clear signs that the species redistributed themselves within the Estuary as the amount of algae changed, nor did the alternative feeding habitats (the salt pans) seem to be used more when algae were particularly abundant on the mud flats. In one species, bird numbers, rather than the amount of algae present, explained the numbers of birds using the salt pans when the two factors were considered together in a multiple regression analysis. There were no striking differences between algae-free and algae-weeded areas in some aspects of the foraging of two representative species, the scolopacid Dunlin Calidris alpina and the charadriid Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola. The results suggest either: (1) that the presence of algae did not strongly influence the distribution of the feeding waders, at least in the conditions prevailing during the study; or (2) that most waders were able to adapt to feeding on weeded areas; perhaps through subtle and undetected alterations in their feeding behaviour.
Peer Reviewed: yes
Document Type: Article
Appears in Collections:DEBA - Artigo publicado em Revista Científica Indexada

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