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Experimentally testing foraging preferences with captive brent and barnacle geese

Heuermann, N. (2002) Experimentally testing foraging preferences with captive brent and barnacle geese. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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In relation to different approaches to explain the diet selection of herbivores1 the influence of plant characteristics, functional response and quality of the forage was investigated for geese as a model for small herbivores. The preference of captive geese for three plant species and a wide range of biomasses was tested during cafeteria style experiments with small patches of natural vegetation. During the same trials the instantaneous intake rate was measured. The geese showed a preference for fertilized turfs, and the protein content of the chosen plants was a better predictor for the preference than the dry matter intake rate. The preferred turfs had a lower biomass than it would be predicted from the intake rate maximization hypothesis. Nevertheless fertilization shifted the preferred biomass to a higher level, closer to the optimum of intake rate. The relation between intake rate and biomass showed a la-ge variation and neither the model of a dome-shaped nor that of an asymptotically functional response could confirmed clearly.

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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