The first of five chapters describe the study area and study species, including a short description about the impetus for this research. The second chapter describes a unique hydrologic model for application in tidal ecosystems. The second chapter represents new information on the effects of various abiotic and biotic factors on foraging wading birds in this highly dynamic environment. The third chapter identifies important factors affecting the abundance of foraging wading birds in intertidal environments. The fourth chapter presents a study of the foraging habitat preferences of two wading bird species in intertidal environments. The fifth chapter describes a conceptual model of wading bird foraging ecology and a predictive model of foraging habitat in intertidal zones. The conceptual model captures the major drivers and linkages between the abiotic and biotic variables thought to affect wading bird foraging abundance in intertidal habitats. The conceptual model also identifies major knowledge gaps in our understanding of foraging ecology of wading birds in coastal intertidal areas. The predictive model of foraging habitat is meant to be used by resource managers, but its framework may be useful for ecological studies in general. The final and sixth chapter provides a summary of all the major findings. Each chapter has been written so as to be independent of the other chapters. As such, a full background, along with a discussion of the relevance of the chapter's findings is provided for each chapter.
|Advisor:||Gawlik, Dale E.|
|School:||Florida Atlantic University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||MAI 52/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Wildlife Conservation, Ecology, Environmental Studies|
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