IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Use of mussel Mytilus edulis beds by oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus according to age and population size
Goss-Custard, J.D.; Dit Durell, S.E.A. Le V.; McGrorty, S.; Reading, C.J. (1982). Use of mussel Mytilus edulis beds by oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus according to age and population size. J. Anim. Ecol. 51(2): 543-554
In: Journal of Animal Ecology. Blackwell Science/British Ecological Society: Oxford. ISSN 0021-8790, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Goss-Custard, J.D.
  • Dit Durell, S.E.A. Le V.
  • McGrorty, S.
  • Reading, C.J.

Abstract
    Around 350 immature oystercatchers ate mussels on the Exe estuary in spring and summer. Half of them fed on 2 mussel beds (numbered 30 and 31). Many of the remaining beds had no birds at all. Numbers of birds eating mussels increased 6-fold from July-October as the adults returned from the breeding areas. The population spread out until almost all the beds were occupied and over half had densities in excess of 10 per ha. The proportion of the birds on beds 30 and 31 declined to almost 20%. Immatures were subordinate to adults and 75% of those that fed on the most preferred beds in summer moved to other parts of the estuary as the adults returned. In winter, more immatures occurred on the low ranking mussel beds. They also changed mussel beds during autumn and winter almost twice as frequently as adults and were more likely to change beds from one winter to the next. Many immatures returned to beds 30 and 31 when the adults left in spring, but did not stay for the entire winter until 4 yr-old. As birds matured, the mean rank of the bed on which they fed in winter increased, presumably as their status and competitive ability increased.-from Authors

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors