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I.2-2: Spatiotemporal variation in waterfowl demography

Presented by Madeleine Lohman - Email: madeleinelohman@gmail.com

Spatial variation in abundance and growth rates is a fundamental tenet of population ecology. Waterfowl exhibit large spatial and temporal variation in abundance, which is correlated with wetland quantity. Yet, analyses explicitly examining spatial variation in waterfowl demography are relatively rare, despite having important implications for our understanding of relationships among harvest, survival, and abundance. Moreover, spatial and temporal covariation among survival, fecundity, and their environmental and anthropogenic drivers remains under-unexamined. We will examine density-dependent effects on juvenile survival, variation in survival rates among ecoregions as harvest pressure changes, density-dependent effects on adult female survival across environmental gradients, and the influence of land use on spatial distribution and population dynamics. Using aerial (BPOP) and ground (Four-Square-Mile) surveys from the Prairie Pothole Region in North America, we will implement hierarchical multivariate Bayesian spatio-temporal models to simultaneously estimate variation in fecundity and survival, and the covariance among demographic parameters, waterfowl density, and habitat conditions. To do so, we will incorporate publicly available capture-mark-recovery banding data for mallards, northern pintails, and blue-winged teals. While researching these questions related to the management of waterfowl, we hope to address basic ecological questions such as ideal-free distribution theory and variation in life-history strategies at landscape-level scales and create a better understanding of the ecological drivers underlying observed population trends.
Session: Harvest Dynamics & Management (Friday, August 30, 10:30 to 12:00)