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Oecologia

, Volume 87, Issue 4, pp 581–587 | Cite as

The macrobenthos fraction accessible to waders may represent marginal prey

  • Leo Zwarts
  • Jan H. Wanink
Original Papers

Summary

The relationship between relative body condition (deviation from expected mean body weight) and burying depth was investigated in five macro-zoo benthic species living in a marine intertidal habitat. Body weight increased with depth when animals of the same size were compared. The increase amounted to 50% in the clamScrobicularia plana, ca. 40% in the wormNereis diversicolor, 25% in the clamMacoma balthica and 20% in the cockleCerastoderma edule and the clamMya arenaria. Only a part of the prey was within reach of some feeding wader species. Therefore prey value may be overestimated if one does not take into account the fact that shallow and accessible prey often have a relatively poor body condition.

Key words

Zoobenthos Waders Predator avoidance Prey condition Prey availability 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leo Zwarts
    • 1
  • Jan H. Wanink
    • 2
  1. 1.Riikswaterstaat FlevolandLelystadThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Zoologisch LaboratoriumUniversity of GroningenHarenThe Netherlands

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