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Wetlands

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Dynamics of potential waterfowl foods in great salt lake marshes during summer

  • Robert R. Cox
  • John A. Kadlec
Article

Abstract

Changes in biomass of potential waterfowl foods were investigated in Great Salt Lake marshes during July and August of 1988–89. In freshwater habitats, biomass of midge (Chironomidae) larvae and pupae and water boatman (Corixidae) nymphs declined from early to late summer. Biomass of mayfly (Ephemeroptera) and damselfly (Zygoptera) nymphs increased over the same time interval. Seeds of horned pondweed (Zannichellia palustris), widgeongrass (Ruppia maritima), and sago pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus) increased during summer. In saline habitats, brine fly (Ephydridae) larvae and water boatman biomass declined from early to late summer. In late June and early July, animal items made up 51% of total potential foods measured in the study area, but by mid July, plant items made up 91% of total potential foods. Changes in densities of food resources, particularly relative biomass of animal and plant foods, are probably an important determinant of dietary consumption in postbreeding adult ducks and ducklings in these marshes. For many duck species, midsummer may mark an important transition between differential animal and plant consumption.

Key words

availability waterfowl foods invertebrates seeds postbreeding Great Salt Lake 

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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert R. Cox
    • 1
  • John A. Kadlec
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Fisheries and WildlifeUtah State UniversityLogan

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