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:1/11/2016)... CHICAGO , Jan. 11, 2016  higi, ... via nearly 10,000 retail locations, web and mobile, ... than $40 million from existing investors. ... will be devoted to further innovate higi,s health ... app and web portal – including expanding services ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... -- This BCC Research report studies the global as ... identifying newer markets and exploring the expansion of the ... Includes forecast from 2015 to 2020. Use ... the expansion of the present application market for various ... technology, determine its current market size, and estimate the ...
(Date:1/6/2016)... 2016  Varam Capital, a provider of micro-finance inclusion ... deliver advanced authentication solutions to their clients. Varam supplies ... A loan of a few thousand rupees may make ... ability to purchase livestock or equipment for a small ... for a local store. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/3/2016)... 2016  Discovery Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: DSCO ... KL4 surfactant therapies for respiratory diseases, today announced ... inducement award as a component of employment compensation ... President and Chief Executive Officer.  The award was ... 1, 2016 and granted as an inducement material ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ASND ), ... TransCon technology to address significant unmet medical needs, today ... Leerink Partners Global Healthcare Conference Location: , Waldorf ... 2016 Time:  , 11:55am EST www.ascendispharma.com ... An audio webcast of this event will be posted ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... , Feb. 3, 2016 New ... more than $1 million for researchers in ... on health-related research that demonstrates exciting potential.   ... of funding for the New Jersey Health Foundation Research ... members at these educational institutions— Princeton University, Rutgers ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... 2016 , ... ProMIS Neurosciences is currently in the process ... propagating strains of Amyloid beta involved in Alzheimer’s disease. The Company plans to ... on from the first misfolded Amyloid beta target announced on Nov. 12, 2015, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: