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  • 1.
    Champagnon, Jocelyn
    et al.
    Frankrike.
    Guillemain, Matthieu
    Frankrike.
    Elmberg, Johan
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment.
    Massez, Grégoire
    Frankrike.
    Cavallo, Francois
    Frankrike.
    Gauthier-Clerc, Michel
    Frankrike.
    Low survival after release into the wild: assessing “the burden of captivity” on Mallard physiology and behaviour2012In: European Journal of Wildlife Research, ISSN 1612-4642, E-ISSN 1439-0574, Vol. 58, no 1, p. 255-267Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Captive-reared animals used in reinforcement programs are generally less likely to survive than wild conspecifics. Digestion efficiency and naive behaviour are two likely reasons for this pattern. The Mallard is a species with high adaptability to its environment and in which massive reinforcement programs are carried out. We studied physiological and behavioural factors potentially affecting body condition and survival of captive-reared Mallards after being released. Digestive system morphology and an index of body condition were compared among three groups: captive-reared birds remaining in a farm (control), captive-reared birds released into the wild as juveniles (released) and wild-born birds (wild). We also compared behaviour and diet of released vs. wild Mallards. Finally, we conducted a 1-year survival analysis of captive-reared birds after release in a hunting-free area. Gizzard weight was lower in control Mallards, but the size of other organs did not differ between controls and wild birds. The difference in gizzard weight between released and wild birds disappeared after some time in the wild. Diet analyses suggest that released Mallards show a greater preference than wild for anthropogenic food (waste grain, bait). Despite similar time-budgets, released Mallards never attained the body condition of wild birds. As a consequence, survival probability in released Mallards was low, especially when food provisioning was stopped and during harsh winter periods. We argue that the low survival of released Mallards likely has a physiological rather than a behavioural (foraging) origin. In any case, extremely few released birds live long enough to potentially enter the breeding population, even without hunting. In the context of massive releases presently carried out for hunting purposes, our study indicates a low likelihood for genetic introgression by captive-reared birds into the wild population.

  • 2.
    Dessborn, Lisa
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment.
    Brochet, A. L.
    Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage, CNERA Avifaune Migratrice, La Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc, Arles.
    Elmberg, Johan
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment.
    Legagneux, P.
    Département de Biologie and Centre d’Études Nordiques, Pavillon Vachon Université Laval, Québec.
    Gauthier-Clerc, M.
    Centre de Recherche de la Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc, Arles,.
    Guillemain, M.
    Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage, CNERA Avifaune Migratrice, La Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc, Arles.
    Geographical and temporal patterns in the diet of pintail Anas acuta, wigeon Anas penelope, mallard Anas platyrhynchos and teal Anas crecca in the Western Palearctic2011In: European Journal of Wildlife Research, ISSN 1612-4642, E-ISSN 1439-0574, Vol. 57, no 6, p. 1119-1129Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dabbling ducks are important quarry species, and as a result, they are relatively well studied. Over the last century, considerable effort has been made to describe their diet and food requirements. In this review, we compile present knowledge about the diet of four widespread dabbling ducks (wigeon, pintail, mallard and teal) in the Western Palearctic. Previous diet research has a spatio-temporal bias towards autumn/winter and the western parts of Europe. The limited number of studies from the breeding season reveals an increase in invertebrates in the diet compared to other seasons, but with some differences between adults and ducklings. Adult ducks eat a larger proportion of benthic invertebrates, whereas ducklings feed relatively more on emerging invertebrates. The most important plant species (seeds) based on frequency occurrence was found to vary with a geographic gradient. Carex spp., Hordeum vulgare and Hippuris vulgaris are common in the diet of birds at northern latitudes, whereas taxa such as Oryza sativa, Potamogeton pectinatus and Scirpus spp. are common in the south. The reviewed studies are based on the contents of different parts of the digestive system and on a variety of methods to quantify food items. The variations in sampling techniques and shortage of articles from the breeding season and some geographic regions highlight the need for future studies. In the future, it is important to standardize sampling techniques to improve the possibility to compare studies and to obtain a more representative view of the diet of dabbling ducks in Europe.

  • 3.
    Gunnarsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Man and Biosphere Health (MABH).
    Elmberg, Johan
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Man and Biosphere Health (MABH).
    Pöysä, Hannu
    Joensuu Game and Fisheries Research, Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute.
    Sjöberg, Kjell
    Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå.
    Dessborn, Lisa
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Man and Biosphere Health (MABH).
    Arzel, Céline
    Section of Ecology, Department of Biology, Turku University.
    Density dependence in ducks: a review of the evidence2013In: European Journal of Wildlife Research, ISSN 1612-4642, E-ISSN 1439-0574, Vol. 59, no 3, p. 305-321Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Density dependence (DD) is a central concept in population ecology and in the management of harvested populations. For example, DD underpins the idea of additive versus compensatory mortality and is a tenet in the paradigm of resource limitation and regulation. Yet the prevalence and importance of DD remains disputed in most organisms, including ducks, which are focal in game management, conservation and zoonotic diseases. Based on 154 data entries from 54 studies in the peer-reviewed literature, we here synthesize and evaluate the prevalence of DD in breeding ducks in relation to (1) species and guild (dabbling versus diving ducks), (2) stage in the breeding cycle (nesting, duckling, recruitment) or, alternatively, in terms of population dynamics, (3) study type (descriptive/nonmanipulative versus experimental), (4) continent (Europe versus North America), (5) spatial level (wetland, landscape, regional, continental) and (6) biome (tundra, boreal, nemoral, prairie, mediterranean). One conclusion from this review is that it is difficult to find general patterns about the prevalence of DD unless data are broken down to subsets, for example, to stage or spatial level. With respect to stage, DD effects occur at all stages of the breeding cycle. During the nesting and duckling stages, the frequency of cases detecting versus not detecting DD is roughly the same. However, in cases referring to the recruitment stage, i.e. to survival of fledged ducks until 1 year old at the most, DD was the rule, suggesting that DD processes may operate mainly outside the breeding season. Further subdivision of data shows that spatial scale is important to the prevalence of DD in nesting ducks—rare on the wetland level and more common on higher spatial levels. In studies of population dynamics (i.e. based on time series data only), DD was more often found in diving than in dabbling ducks. This corroborates previous suggestions that dabbling ducks largely should be considered as r-selected species, in contrast to more K-selected diving ducks, which start to reproduce at an older age and often breed in more stable wetland environments where resources may be easier to track and populations thus often are closer to carrying capacity. However, the picture of DD in ducks is far from complete, and knowledge gaps for future studies to address include: (a) data from Russia, which holds a large part of the breeding ducks in the Northern hemisphere, (b) experimental studies on more species to separate density-dependent factors from other drivers of population change and to tease apart spatial and temporal interactions in the underlying processes, (c) time series analyses addressing population dynamics, especially from outside North America, (d) studies relating duck numbers to limiting resources, which arguably is the most relevant measure of density, (e) the timing of DD processes in relation to harvest and natural mortality.

  • 4.
    Holopainen, Sari
    et al.
    Finland.
    Arzel, Céline
    Finland.
    Dessborn, Lisa
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    Elmberg, Johan
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    Gunnarsson, Gunnar
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    Nummi, Petri
    Finland.
    Pöysä, Hannu
    Finland.
    Sjöberg, Kjell
    SLU.
    Habitat use in ducks breeding in boreal freshwater wetlands: a review2015In: European Journal of Wildlife Research, ISSN 1612-4642, E-ISSN 1439-0574, Vol. 61, no 3, p. 339-363Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Breeding habitats strongly influence duck reproduction and survival. The boreal biome harbours a large share of the worlds wetlands, which are important breeding sites for several duck species. Based on 98 studies in the peer-reviewed literature, we here synthesize and evaluate which habitat characteristics affect habitat use and reproduction of ducks breeding in boreal freshwater wetlands with respect to (1) species and guild (dabbling, diving and piscivorous ducks) and (2) breeding cycle stage (settling by pairs, nesting and brood rearing). We consider the following aspects related to habitat: wetland morphology and spatial aggregation, water characteristics, habitat structure and vegetation, and biotic interactions. Most of the peer-reviewed studies of duck habitat use in boreal wetlands are from North America and Fennoscandia, while nearly half of the boreal area lacks such studies. Few species dominate research thus far while several others have not been studied at all. Nest site use and success are mainly related to predator avoidance. Food resources and habitat structure are the key characteristics affecting habitat use by duck pairs and broods as well as breeding success, although there are differences between duck guilds. Among the commonly studied variables, there is little evidence that water characteristics affect duck habitat use or survival. The most notable knowledge gaps are found in the effects of anthropogenic activities on habitat use and breeding success of ducks. Because boreal breeding environments are increasingly affected by human activities, we underline the need for future studies combining climate variation with natural and anthropogenic disturbances.

  • 5.
    Olsson, Camilla
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Research environment Man & Biosphere Health (MABH).
    Gunnarsson, Gunnar
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Man & Biosphere Health (MABH). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    Elmberg, Johan
    Kristianstad University, Research environment Man & Biosphere Health (MABH). Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap.
    Field preference of Greylag geese Anser anser during the breeding season2017In: European Journal of Wildlife Research, ISSN 1612-4642, E-ISSN 1439-0574, Vol. 63, article id 28Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Few studies address food preference of geese on agricultural land (utilization related to availability) and only a handful so for the breeding season. We studied Greylag geese Anser anser during the breeding season in an intensively farmed area in southern Sweden. Few of 22 available field types were truly preferred. Pastureland was the most consistently preferred, by goslings (with parents) as well as by nonbreeders. In some sampling periods, goslings also preferred grazed hay, ley, and carrot fields. Non-breeders exploited a greater variety of crops/fields, feeding also on barley, fallow, grazed hay, lettuce, oats, potatoes, and carrots. Most of these crops were preferred on at least one sampling occasion, except for fallow, grazed hay, and wheat, which were always used less than expected from availability. GLMs revealed that goslings rested more than they fed and preferred shorter vegetation before higher. Moreover, goslings occurred in higher densities in younger age classes than in older and preferred nearshore areas. In contrast, density of non-breeders was only related to field type and sampling occasion (higher densities as the season progressed). The maximum number of broods observed (106) implies a breeding success of 34% based on311 active nests earlier in the season. Brood size decreased from 3.5 to 2.1 during the study period. Our study shows that goose management during the breeding season should consider goslings and their parents separately from non-breeders, and it implies little potential conflict between Greylag geese and agriculture during the breeding period.

  • 6.
    Sjöberg, Kjell
    et al.
    Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå.
    Gunnarsson, Gunnar
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Forskningsmiljön Man and Biosphere Health (MABH).
    Pöysä, Hannu
    Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Joensuu Game and Fisheries Research.
    Elmberg, Johan
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Forskningsmiljön Man and Biosphere Health (MABH).
    Nummi, Petri
    Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki.
    Born to cope with climate change?: experimentally manipulated hatching time does not affect duckling survival in the mallard Anas platyrhynchos2011In: European Journal of Wildlife Research, ISSN 1612-4642, E-ISSN 1439-0574, Vol. 57, no 3, p. 505-516Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two main hypotheses proposed to explain the seasonal decline in reproductive performance in birds are (1) deterioration of environmental conditions and (2) lower parental quality of late breeders. Previous experimental work addressing these hypotheses generally have problematic biases pertaining to delay of hatching, costs of re-laying and incubation, as well as variation in the quality of eggs, territories, offspring and parental traits. We address these biases in an experimental test of the timing hypothesis (i.e. (1) above) in a precocial bird. Using a 2-year cross-over design and game-farm mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) eggs originating from a number of hens and a standardised delay procedure, we introduced early and late broods with a foster female onto boreal oligotrophic lakes and monitored subsequent duckling survival. Standardised invertebrate sampling was done concurrently to get a measure of lake-level abundance of aquatic prey, a likely causative agent of putative seasonal difference in duckling survival. Survival data and covariates (duckling age; days) were analysed by an information theoretic approach. There was no effect of treatment (i.e. manipulation of hatching date) on duckling survival, which was higher in 2005 than in 2004. In contrast to observational studies from more seasonal wetlands, our experiment demonstrates that duckling survival on boreal lakes was not affected by a 12-day delay in hatching date. Since we did not find any consistent trends in abundance of aquatic prey, i.e. neither clear peaks nor differences between treatment periods, we hypothesise that moderate climate change has minor effects on resource abundance and hence also on mallard duckling survival in boreal environments.

  • 7.
    Söderquist, Pär
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Forskningsmiljön Man and Biosphere Health (MABH).
    Gunnarsson, Gunnar
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Forskningsmiljön Man and Biosphere Health (MABH).
    Elmberg, Johan
    Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Naturvetenskap. Kristianstad University, Forskningsmiljön Man and Biosphere Health (MABH).
    Longevity and migration distance differ between wild and hand-reared mallards Anas platyrhynchos in Northern Europe2013In: European Journal of Wildlife Research, ISSN 1612-4642, E-ISSN 1439-0574, Vol. 59, no 2, p. 150-166Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The mallard Anas platyrhynchos is the world’s most widespread and numerous dabbling duck. It is also farmed and released to the wild by the millions each year, but the effects of this on wild populations remain little studied. By using historical national ringing–recovery data from Sweden and Finland, we here address three predictions based on previous studies: (1) longevity is higher in wild than in hand-reared mallards, (2) wild mallards migrate longer than hand-reared, and (3) migration distance in wild ducks surviving long enough to start fall migration has decreased over the last 50 years. Indeed, wild mallards lived longer than hand-reared (19 versus 9 months in Swedish birds and 13 versus 4 months in Finnish birds). Compared to wild mallards, a smaller proportion of hand-reared birds survived long enough to have the chance to enter the wild breeding population; less than 25 % of the Swedish birds and less than 10 % of the Finnish birds lived a year or longer. Wild birds migrated farther than hand-reared (mean distance in Swedish birds, 676 versus 523 km; in Finnish birds, 1,213 versus 157 km), a pattern caused by both shorter life span and lower migration speed in hand-reared birds. Mean migration distance in wild Swedish mallards was 787 km in 1947–1972 but 591 km in 1977–1993. This difference was not statistically significant, though, possibly due to the limited sample size and lack of data from the last two decades. In general, our study provides a conservative test of the predictions addressed, calling for more research about the consequences of restocking duck populations.

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