Scientia Marina, Vol 71, No 3 (2007)

Interactions between shorebirds and benthic invertebrates at Culbin Sands lagoon, NE Scotland: Effects of avian predation on their prey community density and structure


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2007.71n3579

Vanda M. Mendonça
Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR) / Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIMAR), University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal

David George Raffaelli
Department of Environment, University of York, United Kingdom

Peter R. Boyle
Department of Zoology, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Abstract


In the North Sea, during autumn-winter, intertidal flats often receive a massive influx of migratory shorebirds (wildfowl, waders and seabirds), which utilise the high prey densities that are available. The present study was conducted at Culbin Sands lagoon, NE Scotland, in 1994-1996, to investigate benthic invertebrate standing stock, and the energy flow from benthic invertebrates to shorebirds. Benthic invertebrate standing stock was estimated to be 500 kJ m-2 yr-1, and shorebird consumption efficiency to be 18% of the available standing stock. A series of manipulative field experiments were then conducted to test the effects of shorebirds on benthic invertebrate densities and community structure. Birds were excluded from caged areas (exclosures), and benthic invertebrate densities (total and by class size) in caged and uncaged areas were compared for each season separately. During autumn-winter, especially the gastropod Hydrobia ulvae and larger-sized (>15 mm) clams Macoma balthica were observed to be the most impacted species, being significantly more abundant in bird-exclosures than in bird-accessed areas.


Keywords


shorebirds; invertebrates; prey-size selection; Culbin lagoon

Full Text:


PDF

References


Adams, J.A. and J.H.A. Martin. – 1986. The hydrography and plankton on the Moray Firth. Proc. R. Soc. Edinb., 91B: 37-56.

Andres, B.A. – 2003. Delaware Bay shorebird-horseshoe crab assessment report: biological assessment. US Fish and Wildlife Service/Division of Migratory Bird Management, Airlington.

Ankar, S. and R. Elmgreen. – 1976. The benthic macro- and meiofauna of the Asko-Landsort area (northern Baltic proper). A stratified random sampling survey. Contrib. Asko Lab., 11: 1-115.

Baird, D., P.R. Evans, H. Milne and M.W. Pienkowski. – 1985. Utilization by shorebirds of benthic invertebrate production in intertidal areas. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev., 23: 573-597.

Bartrop, P.G., R. Bishop, N.A. Harvey, S.J.T. Holmes, Knight and H.T. Powell. – 1980. Survey of the littoral zone of the coast of Great Britain. Report to Nature Conservancy Council, no. 7.

Becker, D.S. and K.K. Chew. – 1987. Predation on Capitella spp. by small-mouthed pleuronectides in Puget Sound, Washington. Fish. Bull., 85: 471-479.

Beukema, J.J. and G.C. Cadee. – 1996. Consequences of the sudden removal of nearly all mussels and cockles from the Dutch Wadden Sea. Mar. Ecol., 17(1-3): 279-289.

Boaden, P.J.S. and R. Seed. – 1985. An introduction to coastal ecology. Chapman and Hall, New York.

Bonsdorff, E., A. Norkko and E. Sandberg. – 1995. Structuring zoobenthos: the importance of predation, cropping and physical disturbance. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 192: 125-144.

Bottom, M.L., R.E. Loveland and T.R. Jacobsen. – 1994. Size selection by migratory shorebirds in Delaware Bay, and its relationship to beach characteristics and abundance of horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) eggs. Auk, 111(3): 605-616.

Boyle, P.R. and D.G. Raffaelli. – 1981. A survey of the marine intertidal invertebrates of Nigg and Udale Bays, Moray Firth, Scotland. The Beatrice Project environmental monitoring programme, Report to BNOC.

Brey, T., H. Rumohr and S. Ankar. – 1988. Energy content of macrobenthic invertebrates: general conversion factors from weight to energy. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 117: 271-278.

Burger, J., L. Niles and K.E. Clark. – 1997. Importance of beach, mudflat and marsh habitats to migrant shorebirds on Delaware Bay. Biol. Conserv., 79(2-3): 283-292.

Campbell, L.H., J. Barrett and C.F. Barrett. – 1986. Seaducks in the Moray Firth: a review of their current status and distribution. Proc. Royal Soc. Edinb., 91B: 105-112.

Cramp, S. and K.E.L. Simmons. – 1983. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The birds of Western Paleartic 3 – Waders to Gulls. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Diaz, R.J. and R. Rosenberg. – 1995. Marine benthic hypoxia: a review of its ecological effects and the behavioural responses of the benthic macrofauna. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev., 33: 245-303.

Evans, S. – 1983. Epibenthic communities on shallow soft bottoms in Gullmar Fjord, Sweden. Ph. D. thesis, Uppsala.

Evans, P.R., J.D. Goss-Custard and W.G. Hale. – 1984. Coastal waders and wildfowl in winter. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge.

Feltham, M.F. and F.M. Davies. – 1996. The daily food requirements of fish-eating birds: getting the sums right. In: P.R. Greenstreet and M.L. Tasker (eds), Aquatic Predators and Their Prey, pp. 53-57. Fishing News Books, Cambridge.

Furness, R.W. – 1978. Energy requirements of seabird communities: a bioenergetics model. J. Anim. Ecol., 47: 39-53.

van Gils, J.A., T. Piersma, A. Dekinga and M.-W. Dietz. – 2003. Cost-benefit analysis of mollusc-eating in a shorebird. II. Optimizing gizzard size in the face of seasonal demands. J. Exp. Biol., 206: 3369–3380.

van Gils, J.A., B. Spaans, A. Dekinga and T. Piersma. – 2006a. Foraging in a tidally structured environment by red knots (Calidris canutus): ideal, but not free. Ecology, 87: 1189–1202.

van Gils, J.A., T. Piersma, A. Dekinga, B. Spaans and C. Kraan. – 2006b. Shellfish dredging pushes a flexible avian top predator out of a marine protected area. PLoS Biol., 4(12): 376.

Goss-Custard, J.D. – 1980. Competition for food and interference among waders. Ardea, 68: 31-52.

Hancock, M. – 1993. Northern Firths Reserves: report on ornithological and wildfowl monitoring work - winter 1992-3. Royal Society for Protection of Birds.

Hanssen, S. – 1993. The intertidal macrofauna of Culbin, Moray Firth, Scotland. Eramus Project Report/Part I, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen.

Heinzel, H., R. Fitter and J. Parslow. – 1995. Birds of Britain and Europe. Collins Pocket Guide, Norwich.

Holme, N.A. and A.D. McIntyre. – 1984. Methods for the study of marine benthos. Blackwell, Oxford.

Hopkins, P.J. – 1986. Exploited fish and shellfish species in the Moray Firth. Proc. R. Soc. Edinb., 91B: 57-72.

Hurlbert, S.H. – 1984. Pseudoreplication and design of ecological field experiments. Ecol. Monogr., 54(2): 187-211.

Kalejta, B. – 1993. Intense predation cannot always be detected experimentally - a case study of shorebird predation on nereid polychaetes in South Africa. Neth. J. Sea Res., 31(4): 385-393.

Kelly, J.P. and W.W. Weathers. – 2002a. Effects of feeding time constrains on body mass regulation and energy expenditure in wintering dunlin (Calidris alpina). Behav. Ecol., 13(6): 766-775.

Kelly, J.P., N. Warnock, G.W. Page and W.W. Weathers. – 2002b. Effects weather on daily body mass regulation in wintering dunlin. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 205: 109-120.

Kube, J., C. Peters and M. Powilleit. – 1996. Spatial variation in growth of Macoma balthica and Mya arenaria (Mollusca, Bivalvia) in relation to environmental gradients in the Pomeranian Bay (Southern Baltic Sea). Arch. Fish. Mar. Res., 44(1-2): 81-93.

McNeill, S. and J. H. Lawton. – 1970. Annual production and respiration in animal populations. Nature, 225: 472-474.

Mendonca, V. – 1997. Predator-prey interactions in a sandy shore system in the Moray Firth, NE Scotland. Ph. D. thesis, University of Aberdeen.

Moreira, F. – 1997. The importance of shorebirds to energy fluxes in a food web of a South European estuary. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci., 44(1): 67-78.

Mudge, G.P. – 1986. Trends of population change at colonies of cliff-nesting seabirds in the Moray Firth. Proc. Royal Soc. Edinb., 91B: 73-80.

Paine, R.T. – 1980. Food webs: linkage, interaction strength and community infrastructure. J. Anim. Ecol., 49: 667-685.

Piersma, T., R. Hoeksa, A. Dekinga, A. Koolhaas, A. Wolff, P. Batt and P. Wiersma. – 1993. Scale and intensity of intertidal habitat use by knots (calidris canutus) in the western Wadden Sea in relation to friends and foes. Neth. J. Sea Res., 31(4): 331-357.

Piersma, T., A. Dekinga, J.A. van Gils, B. Achterkamp, and G.H. Visser. – 2003. Cost-benefit analysis of mollusc-eating in a shorebird. I. Foraging and processing costs estimated by the doubly labelled water method. J. Exp. Biol., 206: 3361–3368.

Pollard, M. and A. McLennan. – 1992. Management plan for Culbin Sands. Reserves Ecology. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Prater, A.J. – 1981. Estuary birds of Britain and Ireland. T. and A. D. Poyser, Calton.

Raffaelli, D. and P.R. Boyle. – 1986. The intertidal macrofauna of Nigg Bay. Proc. R. Soc. Edinb., 91B: 113-141.

Raffaelli, D. and H. Milne. – 1987. An experimental investigation of the effects of shorebird and flatfish predation on estuarine invertebrates. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci., 24: 1-13.

Raffaelli, D., V. Falcy and C. Galbraith. – 1990. Eider predation and the dynamics of mussel-beds communities. In: M. Barnes and R.N. Gibson (eds.), Trophic relationships in the marine environment, pp. 157-169. Proc. 24th Europ. Mar. Biol. Symp., Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen.

Raffaelli, D. and S. Hawkins. – 1996. Intertidal ecology. Chapman and Hall, London.

Reise, K. – 1978. Predator exclusion experiments in an intertidal mudflat. Helgol. Wiss. Meeresunters. 30: 263-271.

Rogers, D., T. Piersma, and C. J. Hassell. – 2006. Roost availability may constrain shorebird distribution: Exploring the energetic costs of roosting and disturbance around a tropical bay. Biol. Conserv., 133: 225-235.

Rumohr, H., T. Brey and S. Ankar. – 1987. A compilation of biometric conversion factors for benthic invertebrates of the Baltic Sea. Baltic Mar. Biol., 9: 1-56.

Sandberg, E., M. Tallqvist and E. Bonsdorff. – 1996. The effects of reduced oxygen content on predation and siphon cropping by the brown shrimp Crangon crangon. Mar. Ecol., 17(1-3): 411-423.

van Schie, A. – 1993. Marine intertidal invertebrate survey of Culbin Bar 1993. Erasmus Project Report/Part II, University of Aberdeen.

Sokal, R.R. and J.F. Rohlf. – 1995. Biometry. 2nd ed. W. H. Freeman and Co., New York.

STC. – 2003. Delaware Bay shorebird-horseshoe crab assessment report and peer review. Report for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission/Shorebird Technical Committee, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Airlington. Tilbrook, P.J. – 1986. Nature conservation in the Moray Firth. Proc. R. Soc. Edinb., 91B: 13-25.

Turpie, J.K. and P.A.R. Hockey. – 1997. Adaptive variation in the foraging behaviour of Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola and whimbrel Numenius phaeopus. Ibis, 139(2): 289-298.

Wanink, J.H. and L. Zwarts. – 2001. Rate-maximizing optimality models predict when oystercatchers exploit a cohort of the bivalve Scrobicularia plana over a 7-year time span. J. Anim. Ecol., 70:150-158.

Wells, J.B. and P.R. Boyle. – 1975. Lock fleet littoral invertebrate survey. Report to the Nature Conservancy Council.

Wolff, W.J. and L. de Wolff. – 1977. Biomass and production of zoobenthos in the Grevelin estuary, The Netherlands. Estuar. Coast. Mar. Sci., 5: 1-24.

Yates, M.G., J.D. Goss-Custard, and W.E. Rispin. – 1996. Towards predicting the effect of loss of intertidal feeding areas on overwintering shorebirds (Charidrii) and shelduck (Tadorna tadorna): refinements and tests of a model developed for the Wash, East England. J. Appl. Ecol., 33(5): 944-954.

Zar, J.H. – 1996. Biostatistical analysis. 3rd ed. Prentice Hall Int. Ed., London.

Zwarts, L., A.M. Blomert, P. Spaak, and B. Devries. – 1994. Feeding radius, burying depth and siphon size of Macoma balthica and Scrobicularia plana. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 183(2): 193-212.




Copyright (c) 2007 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Contact us scimar@icm.csic.es

Technical support soporte.tecnico.revistas@csic.es