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The effect of weather and tide on the intake rate of Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus

Minderman, J. (2003) The effect of weather and tide on the intake rate of Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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1. The Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus cannot meet its daily energy requirements in a single low water period of normal duration. From experiments it is known that captive Oystercatchers are able to increase their intake rate when exposure times are reduced. In this field study, we tested the prediction that free-living Oystercatchers increase their intake rate after a period of reduced feeding opportunities. 2. We observed a population of colour-banded Oystercatchers, foraging in a bay on the Wadden Sea island of Texel during the winter. Intra-individual variation in intake rate was analysed and exposure time of the intertidal mudflats was used as a measure for potential foraging time. 3. There was no significant effect of temperature-related parameters on the intake rate, neither was there any detectable effect of the potential foraging time at the moment the observation was made (Current Exposure Time). However, there was a significant positive relationship between the intake rate and the average length of the potential foraging time during the two days preceding the observation (Previous Exposure Time). 4. This leads to the conclusion that after a period reduced foraging time, Oystercatchers have a lower intake rate than after a period of good feeding opportunities. This is opposite to the expectation, and we present several possible explanations for this effect.

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

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