Navigation Links
Citizen science: Birders contribute valuable data on invasive plant species
Date:6/16/2010

In an effort to assess ties between birds' feeding habits and the spread of nonnative invasive plants, researchers provided ornithologists from four U.S. states with questionnaires on daily bird-plant encounters. The 1,143 unique interactions reported by the birders laid the groundwork for a study on the role of native birds in the seed dispersal of invasive plants throughout the U.S.

Clare Aslan and Marcel Rejmnek of the University of California, Davis mailed questionnaires to more than 1,000 members of the Ornithological Societies of North America in the states of California, Florida, New York and Washington. The questionnaires addressed daily birding activities, experience level of the birder, bird-plant interactions and any additional comments. The answers were analyzed by the researchers and compared with pre-existing empirical data and/or follow-up field observations.

From the 179 birders who responded, the researchers gathered 1,143 interactionsof those interactions, 539 (47 percent) involved birds feeding on fruits or seeds of nonnative plants. As birds feed on seed-bearing fruit or the seeds of plants themselves, they inadvertently drop leftovers in nearby soil or carry them greater distances in their plumage. The birders' reports suggest that--through their feeding and habitat preferences--specific birds are contributing to the spread of certain nonnative invasive plant species.

"The spread of invasive plants is tricky to keep track of," said Aslan. "Even if scientists are able to pin-point the site of introduction, it's very difficult to untangle the method, frequency and route of dispersal. In the case of fruit-eating migratory birds, this can be even more challenging as the seed dispersal is more widespread. The goal is to link specific birds with their new-found preferences for certain invasive plant species."

For example, the common North American bird the Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata) was reported to feed on the invasive Chinese tallow, glossy privet and European olive plants in California; the researchers later confirmed all three accounts through field observations. The survey analyses also identified 17 under-researched plant species of particular concern for invasion as they were observed to be frequented by birds; these reports provided scientists with research ideas.

"By gathering the daily observations of established ornithologists, we were able to locate a starting point for future studies," said Rejmnek. "We identified birds feeding on and nesting in plants introduced to the U.S., and we identified new plants that hadn't been considered for follow-up research before. Incorporating the findings from birdwatchers, we are able to prioritize research efforts and fill in some of the current knowledge gaps on the topic."


'/>"/>

Contact: Katie Kline
katie@esa.org
202-833-8773 x211
Ecological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Unisys Awarded Contract to Provide Advanced Biometric Citizen Identification Solution to Government of Mexico
2. Chinas new Climate Center welcomes citizen scientists
3. Environmental health chief in Milwaukee to hear citizen concerns
4. IOF calls on European citizens to stand tall and speak out for their bones
5. Citizen Science -- a celebration of partnership between academia and local people
6. BIO-key(R) and Tiger IT Awarded a Follow-on Contract for Nationwide Voter / Citizen Registration in Bangladesh
7. Down to Earth carbon science: Briefing April 15 in DC
8. Art meets science: Engineer discusses his photographs in free UH lecture
9. DOE publishes update of plan: Facilities for the Future of Science: A 20-Year Outlook
10. Pesticide exposure may contribute to ADHD
11. Microbes contribute less to climate warming
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/4/2017)... , April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC ... announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office ... broadly covers the linking of an iris image with ... transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th issued ... patent is very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... YORK , March 30, 2017 Trends, ... type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris ... voice recognition, and others), by end use industry (government ... and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by ... Europe , Asia Pacific , ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. Mohamed Anwar ... the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high security ePassport ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller General, Mr. ... on the right) have received the IAIR award for the "Most innovative ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... August 11, 2017 , ... A staple in the community ... that will incorporate important key elements including a new digital marketing strategy and updated ... supported them, Bill Miller has partnered with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... August 11, 2017 , ... “There is an increasing ... alternatives to synthetic ingredients,” said Matt Hundt, President of Third Wave Bioactives. “Combining ... presence and know-how of Biorigin will allow us to bring truly novel fermented ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... , ... August 09, 2017 , ... ... classroom next week-- as students. From August 14th through the 16th, the University ... which debuted in the summer of 2016, provides Philadelphia-based middle school educators an ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... Each year in the ... recover well enough to live an independent lifestyle and, even worse, the one-year mortality ... discovery by doctors at the University of California Davis Medical Center (Sacramento) and Second ...
Breaking Biology Technology: