Interspecific interactions and co-existence in dabbling ducks: observations and an experiment

Johan Elmberg, Hannu Pöysä, Kjell Sjöberg, Petri Nummi

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelPeer review

52 Citeringar (Scopus)


We studied the possible role of resource limitation and interspecific competition in assemblages of dabbling ducks on breeding lakes in Finland and Sweden with observational and experimental data. After initial vegetation mapping and yearly censuses of ducks in 1985-1990, we collected observational data in 1991-1994 from 28 lakes with natural populations of mallard Anas platyrhynchos and teal A. crecca. Mallard and teal co-occur over vast areas in the Holarctic and they are the only breeding dabbling ducks on many oligotrophic lakes. Both species are migratory in our study regions, teal arriving later in spring than mallards. Log-linear model analysis of observational presence/absence data revealed a positive, not a negative, association between the species. This association was independent of habitat diversity as well as of lake size. Mallard-teal interaction was also studied in a cross-over introduction experiment in 32 other lakes in two years. Wing-clipped mallards were introduced to breeding lakes before the arrival of teal to induce resource limitation and interspecific competition, hypothesized to reduce lake use by teal. The density of mallard pairs on experimental lakes was 2.9-8.0 times higher than on controls, but there was no negative response by teal to the treatment. This is the first combined observational-experimental demonstration of lack of interspecific competition in waterfowl. Our results indicate that heterospecific attraction may affect species co-existence in dabbling ducks.

Sidor (från-till)129-136
Antal sidor7
StatusPublicerad - 1997
Externt publiceradJa

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Biologi (106)


Fördjupa i forskningsämnen för ”Interspecific interactions and co-existence in dabbling ducks: observations and an experiment”. Tillsammans bildar de ett unikt fingeravtryck.

Citera det här