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The Barnacle Goose Feeding Trial ToБceДa (Tobeseda) : do barnacle geese Branta leucopsis prefer high quality forage to high biomass food patches?

Havinga, R. (2004) The Barnacle Goose Feeding Trial ToБceДa (Tobeseda) : do barnacle geese Branta leucopsis prefer high quality forage to high biomass food patches? Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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Abstract

According to the green wave concept, barnacle geese migrate north in an attempt to benefit from an extended spring. The quality and palatability of the food plants is highest in this season. To investigate this idea we have collected information on preference for forage of different quality and biomass, along the flyway. This report is based on the results of this research in Tobseda, a breeding site in the Russian north. Earlier studies have shown that the geese react strongly on plant quality. Our data suggest that they respond strongest to the amount of plant nitrogen availability per surface area, which is the product of vegetation quality and biomass. In natural systems vegetation quality usually decreases when biomass accumulates, but in our experiment we successfully broke this link. Hence the choice between quality and biomass was no longer a trade-off, and the results show that the geese are opportunistic feeders. Their choice is primarily based on the amount of nitrogen (proteins) that they can ingest, which in natural systems might be limited by increasing standing crop.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:31
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:31
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/9144

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