Acidification of experimental wetlands: Effects on wetland productivity and survival of juvenile black ducks

Co-published by the Black Duck Joint Venture, North American Waterfowl Management Plan. OCLC: 42352724
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Six man-made wetlands (0.02 ha each) and pen-reared broods of American black ducks (Anas rubripes) were used to assess the effects of reduced pH on the quality of fish- free, palustrine habitat for brood rearing. Acid treatment was assigned randomly among newly constructed wetlands during April through June 1984-85, to simulate depressed pH from snowmelt and spring rain. Sampling of chlorophyll epiphytic growth, zooplankton and macroinvertebrates confirmed reduced productivity of acidified (pH 5.0) versus control (pH 6.8) wetlands. Primary productivity was particularly reduced in acidified wetlands in early spring as indicated by high water transparency and low chlorophyll a concentrations. Chlrophyll a concentrations showed treatment (p = 0.01) and date (p = 0.05) effects, but no interaction, and dry weight of epiphytic growth was lower (p = 0.03) in acidified versus control wetlands. Numbers of zooplankton were similar in experimental wetlands, although controls generally exceeded acidified wetlands in abundance; only a single treatment effect for cladocerans (p = 0.1) was detected. Sweep net samples yielded greater numbers (p = 0.03), taxa (p = 0.01) and biomass (p = 0.07) of macroinvertebrates in control wetlands with gastropods, pelecypods and leeches notably reduced by acidification. Placement of 18 broods (female with four 10-day-old ducklings) for 10-day trials on experimental wetlands revealed limited growth, altered behaviour and marked reduction in survival of ducklings on acidified wetlands. An inadequate number of invertebrates is indicated as the cause for poor duckling productivity on acidified wetlands

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Book chapter
Publication Subtype:
Book Chapter
Acidification of experimental wetlands: Effects on wetland productivity and survival of juvenile black ducks
Year Published:
Black Duck Joint Venture
Publisher location:
Grand Falls, New Brunswick
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Larger Work Type:
Larger Work Subtype:
Other Government Series
Larger Work Title:
American Black Duck Symposium: Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, 1990
First page:
Last page: