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Influence of Foraging Behaviors of Shorebirds on Habitat use in Rice Fields During Spring Migration
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 Title & Authors
Influence of Foraging Behaviors of Shorebirds on Habitat use in Rice Fields During Spring Migration
Nam, Hyung-Kyu; Choi, Seung-Hye; Yoo, Jeong-Chil;
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BACKGROUND: The coexisting shorebirds often use various foraging strategies, including feeding methods and habitat use, which are the likely mechanisms to explain the variation of morphological and behavior traits. We studied the foraging behaviors of four shorebirds to define how species separate according to habitat structures in rice fields of western-central Korea during their northward migration. METHODS AND RESULTS: The studied species were Long-toed Stints (Calidris subminuta), Wood Sandpipers (Tringa glareola), Common Greenshanks (Tringa nebularia), and Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa), which were commonly observed in rice fields and represented by a wide range of morphological traits. Habitats were categorized into three types ("plowed with water", "shallow water level after harrowing", and "deep water level after harrowing") according to the irrigation intensity and soil manipulation of the farming practices. Long-toed Stints mainly foraged in the "plowed with water", where they used both visual and tactile searching methods. Wood Sandpipers and Common Greenshanks were frequently observed in "shallow water level after harrowing" They spent a considerable amount of time using a visual searching method. Black-tailed Godwits were selectively attracted to "deep water level after harrowing" and used tactile cues as their predominant feeding technique. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that the water levels related in soil manipulation and irrigation intensity influence the accessibility to foraging sites and the detectability of prey for shorebirds species.
Farming practices;Shorebirds;Rice fields;Water level;
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