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Food and feeding ecology of purple sandpipers Calidris maritima on rocky intertidal habitats (Helgoland, German Bight)
Dierschke, V. (1993). Food and feeding ecology of purple sandpipers Calidris maritima on rocky intertidal habitats (Helgoland, German Bight). Neth. J. Sea Res. 31(4): 309-317
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

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  • Dierschke, V.

Abstract
    On the island of Helgoland (German Bight) Purple Sandpipers Calidris maritima feed mainly in the intertidal of piers and rocky shores. The main prey species are Littorina saxatilis and Mytilus edulis, complemented by crustaceans, polychaetes, other molluscs and green algae. Beach habitats are used as alternative feeding sites during storms. Feeding sites seem to be selected according to rates of assimilated energy intake. The most profitable habitat (wrack beds on the high-tide line with kelp-fly larvae, 16.8 W) is used after arrival in October but is not available during winter. Because of high intake rates in rocky habitats (13.1 W on piers, 5.5 W on mussel beds), which allow short daily feeding times, and available alternative feeding sites during storms, Purple Sandpipers do not need to carry fat reserves in winter like other waders wintering in central and western Europe. This, and the ever accessible food supply of epibenthic macrofauna on rocky shores, may enable Purple Sandpipers to winter further north than other wader species.

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