Exploring the prevalence and diversity of pollen carried by four species of migratory Old World warbler (Sylvioidea) on arrival in the UK

Wood, Matthew J and Morgan, Peter J and Webb, Julia C and Goodenough, Anne E and Chambers, Frank M and Hart, Adam G (2014) Exploring the prevalence and diversity of pollen carried by four species of migratory Old World warbler (Sylvioidea) on arrival in the UK. Bird Study, 61 (3). pp. 361-370. ISSN 0006-3657

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Abstract

Capsule Pollen encrusted around the bill of migrating warblers can reveal marked differences in foraging ecology between bird species. Aims To examine patterns of the prevalence and diversity of pollen in four species of warbler, and explore the potential of pollen to act as an indicator of recent foraging behaviour. Methods By isolating pollen from bill encrustations using laboratory palynological techniques and identification by light microscopy, we examined variation in the prevalence of the five most common pollen taxa, and variation in pollen assemblages in four species of warbler arriving on the south coast of England. Results All samples contained abundant pollen, with 19 floral taxa identified. Sylvia warblers tended to carry Prunus and Citrus pollen, while Phylloscopus warblers mainly carried Eucalyptus pollen. Pollen assemblages varied markedly between bird species. Conclusion Commercial and garden flowering trees are an important resource for migrating warblers. Pollen may be such a valuable resource that flowering plants might be included in the conservation management of stopover sites. The use of pollen to resolve migratory routes may be problematic however, requiring detailed knowledge of both the distribution and flowering phenology of plants en route.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Bird Study on 17th July 2014 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00063657.2014.938017
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Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QL Zoology > QL605 Chordates. Vertebrates > QL671-699 Birds
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Natural & Social Sciences > Environmental Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2015 12:43
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2017 17:21
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1151

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