AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Diet analysis of wintering waterfowl in the Southeastern United States in relation to ecoregion, habitat, and guild

by Justin A Walley

Institution: University of Tennessee – Chattanooga
Year: 2016
Keywords: Waterfowl  – Food; Waterfowl  – Wintering
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2127022
Full text PDF: http://scholar.utc.edu/theses/465


Wintering waterfowl diet has been studied across North America to gain a better understanding of their foraging habits and feeding ecology. There is a need for a better understanding of waterfowl foraging based on ecoregion, guild, and habitats of wintering waterfowl, especially within the Mississippi Flyway. This study investigated the stomach content of wintering waterfowl in the Southeast United States, within the Mississippi Flyway region. The esophagus, proventriculus, and gizzard of each specimen were removed, dried, and sorted for statistical analysis. Multiple two-way ANOVAs were run to test the effects of ecoregion, habitat, and guild on total mass and diet mass in waterfowl. A difference between years was determined so separate analyses were conducted for each year. My results suggest that there was a significant difference in 2014 data for ecoregion by habitat within the Ridge and Valley ecoregion. Total diet composition results suggest that waterfowl consume different food components in each ecoregion. When analyzing guild diet composition, the results suggest that each guild consumes different types of food products, with the dabblers consuming the most agricultural products, divers consuming the most varied diet, and geese consuming the most grasses. Advisors/Committee Members: Aborn, David A., Wilson, Thomas P., Schorr, Mark S., Boyd, Jennifer N., College of Arts and Sciences.