Do birds influence the structure and functioning of coastal food webs?


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sabine.horn [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The Wadden Sea is one of the most important stop-over sites for 10 to 12 Million migrating birds per year. But little is known about the influence of birds on the entire ecosystem. We conducted Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) in an important resting site in the Wadden Sea to determine the influence of birds on the food web. A large variety of different bird species uses the area for foraging and is included directly or indirectly in most of the pathways. Birds induce a negative impact on their prey items with a positive feedback reaction to the preys’ competitors and food sources. There is also a strong negative impact among the bird compartments probably due to competition between the birds. Changes in the biomass of the birds revealed alterations in the food web structure. With a decline in the avian biomass the system showed a decrease in connectivity and diversity of flows but an increase in recycling. Changes in the bird population could affect the complexity and functioning of the entire ecosystem. Thus, the use of such holistic approaches would facilitate undertaking management measures.



Item Type
Conference (Talk)
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Not peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Event Details
�Use of coastal and estuarine food web models in politics and management: The need for an entire ecosystem approach, 25 Sep 2017 - 27 Sep 2017, List, Germany.
Eprint ID
45862
Cite as
Horn, S. , de la Vega, C. , Asmus, R. , Schwemmer, P. , Enners, L. , Garthe, S. and Asmus, H. , Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Wadden Sea Station Sylt, Hafenstr. 43, 25992 List/ Sylt, Germany, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Wadden Sea Station Sylt, Hafenstr. 43, 25992 List/ Sylt, Germany, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Wadden Sea Station Sylt, Hafenstr. 43, 25992 List/ Sylt, Germany, Research and Technology Centre (FTZ), University of Kiel, Hafentörn 1, 25761 Büsum, Germany, Research and Technology Centre (FTZ), University of Kiel, Hafentörn 1, 25761 Büsum, Germany, Research and Technology Centre (FTZ), University of Kiel, Hafentörn 1, 25761 Büsum, Germany, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Wadden Sea Station Sylt, Hafenstr. 43, 25992 List/ Sylt, Germany (2017): Do birds influence the structure and functioning of coastal food webs? , �Use of coastal and estuarine food web models in politics and management: The need for an entire ecosystem approach, List, Germany, 25 September 2017 - 27 September 2017 .


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