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Selection of Foraging Habitat by Mourning Doves: A Structural Approach (Selección del Habitat de Forrageo por Parte de Zenaida macroura: Enfoque Estructural)

William D. Ostrand, John A. Bissonette and Michael R. Conover
Journal of Field Ornithology
Vol. 67, No. 4 (Autumn, 1996), pp. 691-697
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Association of Field Ornithologists
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4514173
Page Count: 7
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Selection of Foraging Habitat by Mourning Doves: A Structural Approach (Selección del Habitat de Forrageo por Parte de Zenaida macroura: Enfoque Estructural)
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Abstract

We sought to characterize the foraging habitat of the Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by conducting an experiment to determine preferred habitat structure in grassland communities independent of species composition or forage availability. Our manipulations altered grass height, density of grass cover, and coverage of litter. To attract doves, food was added in equal amounts to all plots. We found that doves foraged in manipulated sites significantly more often than in Conservation Reserve Program control sites with an unaltered habitat structure. We concluded that on our study sites doves selected foraging habitat based on grass height and density. Our results suggest that the conversion of wheat fields to grass that has occurred extensively in our study area has resulted in a structural change in habitat that renders it less preferable for foraging by doves. /// Se trató de caracterizar el habitat de forrajeo de la tórtola Zenaida macroura para determinar si estaban limitadas sus áreas de forrageo. Se condujo un experimento para determinar la estructura del habitat preferido en una comunidad de gramíneas, independiente de la composición de especies o disponibilidad de forraje. Mediante manipulación se altero la altura de las yerbas, densidad de estas, cobertura y cobertura de hojarasca. Para atraer a las tórtolas se colocó alimento en iguales cantidades en cada uno de los diferentes tratamientos. Se encontró que las tórtolas forrajearon, significativamente más amenudo, en lugares manipulados que en las áreas controles, en donde la estructura del habitat se mantuvo inalterada. Se concluyó que las tórtolas basaron la selección del habitat de forrajeo, en la altura de las yerbas y en su densidad. Los resultados del trabajo sugieren que la conversión de campos de trigo a yerbasales, lo que ha ocurrido extensamente en el área de estudio, ha resultado en un cambio estructural del habitat que es de menor preferencia para forrajear.

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