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Endozoochory of seeds and invertebrates by migratory waterbirds in Oklahoma, USA

Limnetica

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Abstract

Given their abundance and migratory behavior, waterbirds have major potential for dispersing plants and invertebrates within North America, yet their role as vectors remains poorly understood. We investigated the numbers and types of invertebrates and seeds within freshly collected faecal samples (n = 22) of migratory dabbling ducks and shorebirds in November 2008 in two parts of Lake Texoma in southern Oklahoma. Killdeer Charadrius vociferus were transporting a higher number and diversity of both plants and invertebrates than the green-winged teal Anas carolinensis. Ten plant taxa and six invertebrate taxa were identified to at least genus level, although viability was not confirmed for most of these taxa. Bryozoan statoblasts (from four species not previously recorded from Oklahoma) were especially abundant in killdeer faeces, while the ostracod Candona simpsoni was detected as a live adult in torpor in the teal faeces. Cyperaceae and Juncaceae were the most abundant plant families represented and Cyperus strigosus seeds germinated after extraction from killdeer faeces. This snapshot study underlines the importance of waterbirds as vectors of passive dispersal of many organisms and the need for more research in this discipline.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Endozoochory of seeds and invertebrates by migratory waterbirds in Oklahoma, USA
Series title:
Limnetica
Volume
32
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
Asociación Ibérica de Limnología
Contributing office(s):
National Wetlands Research Center
Description:
8 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Limnetica
First page:
39
Last page:
46
Country:
United States
State:
Oklahoma