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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 279, Issue 1, pp 107–119 | Cite as

Bird abundance and species richness on Florida lakes: influence of trophic status, lake morphology, and aquatic macrophytes

  • Mark V. Hoyer
  • Daniel E. CanfieldJr.
Article

Abstract

Data from 46 Florida lakes were used to examine relationships between bird abundance (numbers and biomass) and species richness, and lake trophic status, lake morphology and aquatic macrophyte abundance. Average annual bird numbers ranged from 7 to 800 birds km−2 and bird biomass ranged from 1 to 465 kg km−2. Total species richness ranged from 1 to 30 species per lake. Annual average bird numbers and biomass were positively correlated to lake trophic status as assessed by total phosphorus (r = 0.61), total nitrogen (r = 0.60) and chlorophyll a (r = 0.56) concentrations. Species richness was positively correlated to lake area (r = 0.86) and trophic status (r = 0.64 for total phosphorus concentrations). The percentage of the total annual phosphorus load contributed to 14 Florida lakes by bird populations was low averaging 2.4%. Bird populations using Florida lakes, therefore, do not significantly impact the trophic status of the lakes under natural situations, but lake trophic status is a major factor influencing bird abundance and species richness on lakes. Bird abundance and species richness were not significantly correlated to other lake morphology or aquatic macrophyte parameters after the effects of lake area and trophic status were accounted for using stepwise multiple regression. The lack of significant relations between annual average bird abundance and species richness and macrophyte abundance seems to be related to changes in bird species composition. Bird abundance and species richness remain relatively stable as macrophyte abundance increases, but birds that use open-water habitats (e.g., double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus) are replaced by species that use macrophyte communities (e.g., ring-necked duck, Aythya collaris).

Key words

Florida bird populations trophic status lakes water quality aquatic macrophytes 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark V. Hoyer
    • 1
  • Daniel E. CanfieldJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Fisheries and AquacultureUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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