Atlantic Brant - human commensalism on eelgrass beds in New Jersey

Ronald E Kirby, Holliday H, III Obrecht


Atlantic Brant Branta bernicla hrota in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, have established a commensal feeding relationship with man. Small flocks feed 3-5 m from clam fishermen on Zostera torn from the sea bottom by the fishing activities. Back ground material on the availability and digestibility of different brant foods is presented. This commensalism gives the Brant an efficient food gathering opportunity and permits them to exploit Zostera which might otherwise be unavailable to them.

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