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Balancing between predation risk and food by boreal breeding ducks
  • +2
  • Sari Holopainen,
  • Elmo Miettinen,
  • Veli-Matti Väänänen,
  • Petri Nummi,
  • Hannu Pöysä
Sari Holopainen
University of Helsinki

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Elmo Miettinen
University of Helsinki
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Veli-Matti Väänänen
University of Helsinki
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Petri Nummi
University of Helsinki
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Hannu Pöysä
University of Eastern Finland
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1. Wetlands belong to the globally most threatened habitats, and organisms depending on them are of conservation concern. Wetland destruction and quality loss may affect negatively also boreal breeding ducks in which habitat selection often needs balancing between important determinants of habitat suitability. In Finland duck population trajectories are habitat-specific, while the reasons behind are not known. 2. In this research, the balance of nest predation risk and invertebrate food abundance in boreal breeding ducks was studied in Finland at 45 lakes and ponds in 2017 and 2018. Nest predation experiments were conducted with artificial nests followed by wildlife cameras during seven days. Invertebrates were sampled from the study water bodies using emergence and activity traps. Duck pairs and broods were also surveyed from these and 18 additional water bodies. 3. The wildlife camera results indicate that predation risk was higher in the water bodies surrounded by agricultural land than forestland. Ponds (seasonal, beaver and man-made) had lower nest predation risk and they were also more invertebrate-rich habitats than permanent lakes. In addition, artificial nests further away from water bodies had higher survival than shoreline nests. Habitat use of duck pairs (prior to nesting) was not associated with invertebrate food, but duck broods preferred habitats rich in food. 4. High nest predation pressure in shorelines of especially agricultural landscapes may contribute the declining population trends of ducks in Finland. Controlling predators would be an important conservation action to improve duck breeding success. This research underlines the benefits of the availability of different water body types for the breeding ducks. There is an urgent need to pay attention to protecting seasonal ponds, while the lack of flooded waters may be mitigated by favouring beavers or man-made ponds.
12 Jun 2023Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
13 Jun 2023Submission Checks Completed
13 Jun 2023Assigned to Editor
15 Jun 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
24 Jul 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Aug 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
02 Sep 20231st Revision Received
04 Sep 2023Submission Checks Completed
04 Sep 2023Assigned to Editor
04 Sep 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
05 Sep 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
27 Oct 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
24 Jan 2024Submission Checks Completed
24 Jan 2024Assigned to Editor
24 Jan 2024Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
25 Jan 2024Editorial Decision: Accept