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Characteristics Affecting Prey Vulnerability and Avian Habitat Selection in the Florida Everglades

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Date Issued:
2007
Summary:
The vulnerability of prey to capture plays a fundamental role in determining overall prey availability for wading birds. Structural complexity can act to decrease prey vulnerability and influence foraging habitat selection. To determine how structural complexity can affect habitat selection I conducted a use vs. availability study throughout the Florida Everglades in 2005 and 2006. Results indicated that wading birds chose foraging sites that had less emergent vegetation and a thicker flocculent layer relative to random sites. Submerged vegetation, and the height of emergent vegetation did not affect wading bird site selection. A difference in habitat selection between years was evident due to hydrological conditions. Ideal hydrological conditions are probably the most important parameter to wading bird success. Other factors affecting prey vulnerability became increasingly important in years of poor hydrology, probably because the penalty for choosing low quality foraging habitat would be greater than in years of more optimal conditions.
Title: Characteristics Affecting Prey Vulnerability and Avian Habitat Selection in the Florida Everglades.
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Name(s): Harris, Rachael L., author
Gawlik, Dale E., Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2007
Date Issued: 2007
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 75 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: The vulnerability of prey to capture plays a fundamental role in determining overall prey availability for wading birds. Structural complexity can act to decrease prey vulnerability and influence foraging habitat selection. To determine how structural complexity can affect habitat selection I conducted a use vs. availability study throughout the Florida Everglades in 2005 and 2006. Results indicated that wading birds chose foraging sites that had less emergent vegetation and a thicker flocculent layer relative to random sites. Submerged vegetation, and the height of emergent vegetation did not affect wading bird site selection. A difference in habitat selection between years was evident due to hydrological conditions. Ideal hydrological conditions are probably the most important parameter to wading bird success. Other factors affecting prey vulnerability became increasingly important in years of poor hydrology, probably because the penalty for choosing low quality foraging habitat would be greater than in years of more optimal conditions.
Identifier: FA00000754 (IID)
Note(s): Thesis (M.S.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2007.
Subject(s): Everglades (Fla)
South Florida Water Management District (Fla )
Wildlife management--Florida--Everglades
Bird populations--Florida--Everglades
Water birds--Florida--Everglades
Wetland ecology--Florida--Everglades
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00000754
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Restrictions on Access: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.