American Coot (Fulica americana) behavior was observed and Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) cover measured at Lake Chapala, Mexico, to determine whether site selection, habitat use, behavior within habitat types and selection of habitats for foraging were affected by the invasive aquatic plant. Water Hyacinth significantly affected habitat choice within selected sites but not site selection by coots. Coots spent less time in shallow water and more time in Water Hyacinth as site-level hyacinth cover increased. Water Hyacinth did not restrict coot movement and birds foraged significantly more in patch Water Hyacinth (28.7 ± 2.3% of total time) than in open water (9.8 ± 0.9%). Moreover, coots spent less time foraging in shallow water and more time foraging in hyacinths as cover increased. Coots used Water Hyacinth opportunistically and may have preferred it over other available habitat types. The positive relationships between Water Hyacinth and coots were likely attributed to the introduction of forage and refuge opportunities that were unavailable in Lake Chapala prior to Water Hyacinth invasion. Results suggest that efforts to control Water Hyacinth may indirectly affect the American Coot population.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 33 • No. 4