, Volume 279, Issue 1, pp 15–27 | Cite as

Responses of breeding duck populations to changes in food supply

  • Arnthor Gardarsson
  • Arni Einarsson


We describe the main results of a monitoring study at Lake Myvatn, northern Iceland, begun in 1975. The aims were to find factors that limit production of young and cause changes in density of breeding ducks of several species. We estimated numbers of ducks in spring, before nesting, numbers of ducklings produced, and numbers moulting. Chironomid and simuliid dipterans were monitored with window traps. In all duck species studied, production of young was correlated with food abundance. Reproductive performance determined subsequent changes in spring population density of Eurasian Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Greater Scaup, Common Scoter and Harlequin Duck. The spring population of Barrow's Goldeneye apparently did not respond to variation in reproductive success. Moulting numbers of male Tufted Duck were related to chironomid abundance, but not those of Scaup and Barrow's Goldeneye. Moulting numbers were not associated with previous reproductive output.

Key words

population regulation food limitation population monitoring Anatidae 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnthor Gardarsson
    • 1
  • Arni Einarsson
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of BiologyUniversity of IcelandReykjavikIceland
  2. 2.Nature Conservation CouncilMyvatn Research StationReykjavikIceland

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