, Volume 279, Issue 1, pp 171–183 | Cite as

Use of boreal forested wetlands by Pacific loons (Gavia pacifica Lawrence) and horned grebes (Podiceps auritus L.): relations with limnological characteristics

  • P. J. Heglund
  • J. R. Jones
  • L. H. Frederickson
  • M. S. Kaiser


Our objective was to determine if the occurrence and abundance of Pacific loons (Gavia pacifica Lawrence) and horned grebes (Podiceps auritus L.) on 123 wetlands of Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge in east central Alaska were related to the limnological characteristics of those wetlands. Aquatic bird-wetland use surveys were conducted in conjunction with limnological sampling from May through September 1985–87 and May through August 1989. Results from logistic regression analysis demonstrated a significant association between the probability of wetland use by Pacific loons and shoreline length, water color, calcium and total phosphorus. Wetland use by horned grebes was related to shoreline length, pH, and chlorophyll. Aquatic bird abundance was then used as a Poisson response variable and modeled as a function of wetland limnological characteristics. Our results indicate that Pacific loon abundance was adequately modeled by linear and quadratic functions of shoreline length, color, pH, calcium and total phosphorus. Horned grebe abundance could not be modeled with this approach. The statistical techniques known collectively as generalized linear models provided a framework for the development of models for aquatic bird use of wetlands. Our results, however, indicate that while this approach shows promise, a better understanding of how to model aquatic bird abundance is needed. We then identify problems in model development and suggest avenues for future research.

Key words

Pacific loon horned grebe wetland selection limnology total phosphorus wetlands 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. Heglund
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. R. Jones
    • 2
  • L. H. Frederickson
    • 3
  • M. S. Kaiser
    • 4
  1. 1.U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceAlaska Fish and Wildlife Research CenterAnchorageUSA
  2. 2.The School of Natural ResourcesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Gaylord Memorial LaboratoryUniversity of MissouriPuxicoUSA
  4. 4.Department of StatisticsIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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