Avoiding competition? Site use, diet and foraging behaviours in two similarly sized geese wintering in China

Zhao, Meijuan, Cao, Lei, Klaassen, Marcel, Zhang, Yong and Fox, Anthony D. 2015, Avoiding competition? Site use, diet and foraging behaviours in two similarly sized geese wintering in China, Ardea, vol. 103, no. 1, pp. 27-38, doi: 10.5253/arde.v103i1.a3.

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Title Avoiding competition? Site use, diet and foraging behaviours in two similarly sized geese wintering in China
Author(s) Zhao, Meijuan
Cao, Lei
Klaassen, MarcelORCID iD for Klaassen, Marcel orcid.org/0000-0003-3907-9599
Zhang, Yong
Fox, Anthony D.
Journal name Ardea
Volume number 103
Issue number 1
Start page 27
End page 38
Total pages 12
Publisher BioOne
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015
ISSN 0373-2266
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Anser albifrons
Anser fabalis
dietary composition
feeding ecology
interspecific competition
Summary Competition may occur when two species with similar feeding ecologies exploit the same limited resources in time and space. In recent years, the Eastern Tundra Bean Goose Anser fabalis serrirostris and Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons frontalis have increased in wintering numbers at Shengjin Lake, China. To examine the potential for coexistence and possible avoidance strategies, we studied (1) their habitat use, (2) foraging behaviours and (3) diets of birds foraging in mixed- and single-species flocks. Both species extensively exploited sedge meadows, where they showed considerable overlap in spatial distribution and diet. The percentage feeding time and diet of both species were unaffected by the presence of the other. Greater White-fronted Geese appeared diurnal sedge meadow specialists, almost never feeding in other habitats. Eastern Tundra Bean Geese were less selective, exploiting other habitats, which they increasingly exploited at night in mid-winter. The use of alternative habitats and night feeding may have avoided interspecific competition. While the specialised feeding ecology of Greater White-fronted Geese may make them particularly vulnerable to loss of sedge meadow habitat, Eastern Tundra Bean Geese may be able to adjust because of their use of alternative habitats and a less restricted diet.
Language eng
DOI 10.5253/arde.v103i1.a3
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, BioOne
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30075840

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