Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Avian Community Responses to Hydrilla Invasion

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1990
Authors:Esler, D
Journal:The Wilson Bulletin
Date Published:1990
ISBN Number:00435643
Keywords:Fulica, Fulica americana, Fulica atra, Podiceps, Podicipedidae, Podilymbus, Podilymbus podiceps, Rallidae
Abstract:Changes in a bird community associated with increased coverage of the exotic submergent hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) were studied on a Texas reservoir. Hydrilla was the only major plant exhibiting a significant increase in areal coverage from 1986 to 1987. Bird species richness and total bird numbers in 1987 correspond to increased hydrilla coverage, as well as substantial increases in populations of birds shown to be closely associated with hydrilla, e.g., American Coots (Fulica americana), Pied-billed Grebes (Podilymbus podiceps), and several duck species. Observations of sample plots demonstrated a correlation between hydrilla coverage and bird use, especially for American Coots. Experimental removal of hydrilla from plots resulted in a decrease of bird use of plots lacking hydrilla. The addition of the submergent layer of hydrilla was beneficial to the bird community, presumably due to increased horizontal vegetative diversity and foraging opportunities.
Short Title:The Wilson Bulletin
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith