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Q.2-10: Dabbling duck use of agriculturally manipulated and unmanipulated wetlands in the Drift Prairie of North Dakota and South Dakota

Presented by Dustin Toy - Email: dustin.toy@ndsu.edu

Agricultural expansion has led to conversion of much of the Drift Prairie, a subregion of the Prairie Pothole Region, into cropland. In turn, >80% of the remaining temporary and seasonal wetlands are in crop or alfalfa fields. During dry periods, these wetlands may be manipulated by landowners to prepare for planting crops within the wetland, whereas, during wetter periods, wetlands may be left idle. However, these wetlands continue to provide waterfowl foraging habitat. Our study examined spatiotemporally and hydrologically similar manipulated (burned, disked, mowed, harvested) and unmanipulated (idled) wetlands located in agriculture fields to determine the influence of agricultural manipulation techniques on the presence of five common dabbling duck species (blue-winged teal, gadwall, mallard, northern pintail, northern shoveler). Preliminary results indicated that burning a wetland had a slightly negative influence on probability of presence for most species. Disking and mowing manipulations, surface water area, and water depth positively influenced probability of presence for most species. These results may help guide better wetland manipulation techniques in agricultural fields. Future data analysis will explore vegetation measurements and more complex manipulation models.
Session: Poster Session 2 (Wednesday, August 28, 19:00 to 21:00)