|Food resources for Spoon-billed Sandpipers (Calidris pygmaea) in the mudflats of Leizhou Bay, southern China|Lu, X.; Yang, H.; Piersma, T.; Sun, L.; Chen, Q.; Jiaj, Y.; Lei, G.; Cheng, L.; Rao, X. (2022). Food resources for Spoon-billed Sandpipers (Calidris pygmaea) in the mudflats of Leizhou Bay, southern China. Front. Mar. Sci. 9: 1005327. https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.1005327
In: Frontiers in Marine Science. Frontiers Media: Lausanne. e-ISSN 2296-7745, meer
Arthropoda [WoRMS]; Calidris pygmaea
spoon-billed sandpiper; food resources; mobile epibenthos; arthropods; diet; leizhou
|Auteurs|| || Top |
- Lu, X.
- Yang, H.
- Piersma, T., meer
- Sun, L.
- Chen, Q.
- Jiaj, Y.
- Lei, G.
- Cheng, L.
- Rao, X.
Leizhou Bay in Guangdong Province is the most important wintering site inChina for the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpipers ( Calidris pygmaea). As food is usually a strong predictor of presence, in the winters of 2019-2022 we studied arthropod food resources and diet on the intertidal mudflats at the Tujiao and Hebei mudflats in Leizhou Bay. In December 2020, using a sampling device that encloses mobile epibenthic prey before the human sampler would disturb them in shallow pools, we visited 34 stations in their core foraging area at Tujiao. A total of 15 mobile benthic species were identified, including 13 arthropod and 2 fish species, with a total density of 106 animals/m2 (range= 0.2-48 animals/m2), with the lengths of the animals ranging from 1-19 mm. Two amphipod and one cumacean species contributed 85%. On the basis of photographs of foraging during low tide in 2019-2022, the visibly ingested prey items appeared to mainly consist of small shrimp, but also included crabs and fish. At 27 mm (compared with the 22 mm long bill of Spoon-billed Sandpipers) the average visibly ingested prey showed a strong size bias. Among the measured environmental covarying factors (sediment pH, salinity, TOC content, median particle size and distance from the seawall etc.) potentiually affecting the mobile epibenthic prey in shallow pools, only distance from the seawall was significantly and negatively correlated. Densities were higher within 1 km of the seawall (126 animals/m2) than further offshore (69 animals/m2 ). This may relate to the mangrove forests growing in abundance near the seawall providing released minerals, nutrients, bacterial production and diatoms for the benthic community in the adjacent mudflats. However, the potential negative impact of artificial mangrove expansion in Leizhou mudflats need to be carefully monitored and assessed to balance both mangrove and Spoon-billed Sandpipers conservation.