Drivers of waterfowl population dynamics: from teal to swans
Waterfowl are among the best studied and most extensively monitored species in the world. Given their global importance for sport and subsistence hunting, viewing and ecosystem functioning, great effort has been devoted since the middle part of the 20th century to understanding both the environmental and demographic mechanisms that influence waterfowl population and community dynamics. Here we use comparative approaches to summarise and contrast our understanding of waterfowl population dynamics across species as short-lived as the teal Anas discors and A.crecca to those such as the swans Cygnus sp. which have long life-spans. Specifically, we focus on population responses to vital rate perturbations across life history strategies, discuss bottom-up and top-down responses of waterfowl populations to global change, and summarise our current understanding of density dependence across waterfowl species. We close by identifying research needs and highlight ways to overcome the challenges of sustainably managing waterfowl populations in the 21st century.
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