Title

Changes in Aquatic Macrophyte Abundance, Distribution, and Diversity at the Harriman State Park of Idaho Trumpeter Swan Wintering Ground, 1988 – 2013

Date

5-29-2014 4:10 PM

End Time

29-5-2014 4:30 PM

Location

Health and Wellness Center (HWC) 105

Department

Biology

Session Chair

Ava Howard

Session Title

Current topics in Biology

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Jeff Snyder

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator) are the largest member of the waterfowl family Anatidae. Once widely distributed, they were reduced to < 75 individuals by the 20th Century. Although population restoration has been successful, the core population in the Yellowstone Ecosystem (Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana) has declined by 50% in the past 10 years. Members of this Yellowstone flock overwinter within the ecosystem. Thus, winter food availability there (quantity and quality), in the form of aquatic plants (macrophytes), is important for survival and subsequent reproductive success. Their primary wintering ground is at Harriman State Park of Idaho along a 12 km stretch of Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. During the fall and winter of 1988/1989, aquatic macrophyte abundance and distribution was quantified throughout the wintering ground. These transects were resampled in the fall of 2011, 2012, and 2013 to document any differences in abundance, distribution, and diversity since the 1988 sampling period. In our present analysis we found differences in abundance, distribution, and diversity since 1988. We will present information on these changes and speculate how changes in food abundance and quality might affect reproductive success in the Yellowstone Flock and, thus, may provide important species clues to its recent decline

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May 29th, 4:10 PM May 29th, 4:30 PM

Changes in Aquatic Macrophyte Abundance, Distribution, and Diversity at the Harriman State Park of Idaho Trumpeter Swan Wintering Ground, 1988 – 2013

Health and Wellness Center (HWC) 105

Trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator) are the largest member of the waterfowl family Anatidae. Once widely distributed, they were reduced to < 75 individuals by the 20th Century. Although population restoration has been successful, the core population in the Yellowstone Ecosystem (Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana) has declined by 50% in the past 10 years. Members of this Yellowstone flock overwinter within the ecosystem. Thus, winter food availability there (quantity and quality), in the form of aquatic plants (macrophytes), is important for survival and subsequent reproductive success. Their primary wintering ground is at Harriman State Park of Idaho along a 12 km stretch of Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. During the fall and winter of 1988/1989, aquatic macrophyte abundance and distribution was quantified throughout the wintering ground. These transects were resampled in the fall of 2011, 2012, and 2013 to document any differences in abundance, distribution, and diversity since the 1988 sampling period. In our present analysis we found differences in abundance, distribution, and diversity since 1988. We will present information on these changes and speculate how changes in food abundance and quality might affect reproductive success in the Yellowstone Flock and, thus, may provide important species clues to its recent decline