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Research article2001Peer reviewed

Pair formation among experimentally introduced mallards Anas platyrhynchos reflects habitat quality

Poysa H, Sjoberg K, Elmberg J, Nummi P


Using data from two independent field experiments, we address whether pair formation in introduced mallards Anas platyrhynchos is associated with habitat quality, specifically food limitation at the brood stage. Based on the concentration of total phosphorous in the water, the study lakes were divided into two groups, 'poor' and 'rich'. In one of the experiments we used mallard ducklings imprinted on humans to study mass change of ducklings in poor and rich lakes, respectively. It turned out that ducklings foraging on poor lakes gained less mass than ducklings foraging on rich lakes, the division of lakes thus reflecting habitat quality at the brood stage. Introduced mallards formed heterosexual pairs on lakes that were, in a relative sense, high-quality brood habitats, whereas they did not on lakes of low-quality brood habitat. Pair formation thus seemed to reflect the suitability of habitat for breeding

Published in

Annales Zoologici Fennici
2001, Volume: 38, number: 2, pages: 179-184

      SLU Authors

    • Sjöberg, Kjell

      • Department of Animal Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Elmberg, Johan

        • Department of Animal Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

      Permanent link to this page (URI)