Recent evidence suggests wild rice (Zizania palustris), an important resource for migrating waterfowl, is declining in parts of central North America, providing motivation to rigorously quantify the relationship between waterfowl and wild rice. A hierarchical mixed-effects model was applied to data on waterfowl abundance for 16 species, wild rice stem density, and two measures of water depth (true water depth at vegetation sampling locations and water surface elevation). Results provide evidence for an effect of true water depth (TWD) on wild rice abundance (posterior mean estimate for TWD coefficient, β TWD = 0.92, 95% confidence interval = 0.11—1.74), but not for an effect of wild rice stem density or water surface elevation on local waterfowl abundance (posterior mean values for relevant parameters overlapped 0). Refined protocols for sampling design and more consistent sampling frequency to increase data quality should be pursued to overcome issues that may have obfuscated relationships evaluated here.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Modeling the relationship between water level, wild rice abundance, and waterfowl abundance at a central North American wetland|
|Contributing office(s)||Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center|