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We used mist nets to examine the directional movement of 20,019 passerines on Appledore Island, Maine, during spring and fall migration. Based upon the seasonal trend of North American migration, the hypothesis was that migrant birds would be moving north in the spring and south in the fall. Results, however, indicate that in both seasons, birds were more likely to be flying north than south and were more likely to be flying west than east. The data for the most commonly captured species support the directional patterns observed among all individuals. Although all captures as well as captures in the first hour after sunrise indicate northward movement in both seasons, spring captures in the northward direction were significantly more prevalent than fall captures. Therefore, we suggest that the general migratory direction and the presence of an ecological barrier, the Atlantic Ocean, appear to influence the directional capture of stopover migrants. Recaptured birds generally showed a lack of directional movement in both seasons, although subsequent recaptures indicate northward movement by these migrants in the spring. Age did not appear to affect directional movement.
We documented estuarine predation by an immature striped bass (Morone saxatilis) upon an Atlantic salmon smolt (Salmo salar) that had previously been tagged with an ultrasonic transmitter on the Narraguagus River, Maine. That observation revealed the potential confounding effects that fish predation can have upon a telemetry study if the behavior of predatory fish cannot be distinguished from that of the target species. To investigate this effect, we also tracked the movements of immature striped bass in the same river system. We found that the striped bass alternately moved upstream and downstream of the release site, independent of tidal flows and light conditions, whereas salmon movements were generally passive and in the direction of tidal flows. These differences can be incorporated into our data analysis to better recognize and explain anomalous behavior of tagged smolts. Salmon abundance in Maine rivers has steadily declined since the mid-1980s, whereas Atlantic coast striped bass stocks have been increasing in abundance. Although the potential exists for significant smolt predation by striped bass in any one year, striped bass abundance in eastern Maine rivers is highly variable between years, suggesting that striped bass predation is not the proximate cause of the persistent decline in salmon populations.
The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (JBWR) represents the largest protected area for over 300 species of migratory and resident birds on Long Island (LI), New York, and occupies a key position along the Atlantic flyway. We identified changes in nesting populations for 18 species of colonial waterbirds in JBWR and on LI, during 1974–1998, to provide a basis for future wildlife management decisions in JBWR and also at nearby John F. Kennedy International Airport. None of the populations was stable over the past 25 years in JBWR or on LI. Some populations in JBWR increased (Laughing Gull L. atricilla Linnaeus, Great Black-backed Gull L. marinus Linnaeus, Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri Nuttall) while others decreased (Herring Gull Larus argentatus Coues, Snowy Egret Egretta thula Molina), but only Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis Linnaeus) have disappeared from the refuge. Common Tern (S. hirundo Linnaeus), Least Tern (S. antillarum Lesson), Roseate Tern (S. dougallii Montagu), Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger Linnaeus), Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax Linnaeus) and Great Egret (Ardea alba Linnaeus) populations all increased on LI over the sampling period although the Common Tern colonies in JBWR have been declining since 1986. The continued protection of the colony sites, particularly saltmarsh islands, in JBWR will be important to the conservation efforts of many colonial waterbird populations on Long Island. The JBWR colonies may serve as a source of emigrants to other Long Island colonies, and in some cases, act as a “sink” for birds immigrating from New Jersey and elsewhere.
A study was performed on a population of Harris' checkerspot butterfly, Charidryas harrisii (Nymphalidae) in Princeton, Massachusetts, USA, to determine which characteristics of its host plant, flat-topped white aster (Aster umbellatus Asteraceae) a female may use to determine oviposition site. Several physical parameters of an aster population were recorded when females were laying eggs. Later, as larvae were appearing, the plants selected as oviposition sites were measured in a similar fashion. Females chose plants that were significantly taller, had more leaves, thicker stems, and were more “bushy” than the population average. Contrary to our expectations, the butterflies chose plants with fewer conspecifics than the population average. This research suggests management possibilities for the host plant population of this butterfly species.
The goal of this study was to determine whether seed longevity is an indicator of invasive potential. We studied annual (Polygonum) and woody perennial (Celastrus, Parthenocissus) non-native species and their native congeners in a three-year buried seed experiment. The woody perennial species formed a transient seed bank lasting only one year. In year one, both perennial non-native species had significantly greater germination than their native congeners. Both Polygonum species formed a persistent seed bank, but the invasive P. perfoliatum had greater longevity than the native P. sagittatum. The study demonstrated that seed bank strategies of invasive species are qualitatively similar to their less abundant native congeners, but there were significant quantitative differences.
A list of freshwater fishes is presented for Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine, based on past survey records, published and unpublished reports, and recent comprehensive surveys within or bordering Park boundaries conducted in 1998 and 1999. Overall, 31 species of fishes have been recorded in freshwaters of the Park or those bordering Park boundaries; 28 of these are still present. Of those, 15 species are likely native to Mount Desert Island, and the indigenous status of one fish species is unknown. The most widely distributed species in lakes and ponds is the golden shiner, Notemigonus crysoleucas Mitchill (83% of ponds), while the most widely-distributed species in brooks is the brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis Mitchill (56%).
Seedlings (2-0 bare root) of Japanese larch (Larix leptolepis), white pine (Pinus strobus), and bear oak (Quercus ilicifolia) were partially defoliated by clipping half of each leaf per plant. Control plants were not clipped. Photosynthesis, water potential, leaf nitrogen concentration, leaf mass, and total mass were measured one week and nine weeks after treatment. Compensatory responses varied by species and timing. Defoliated Japanese larch had increased photosynthesis rates and foliar nitrogen concentration relative to control plants one week after treatment. Total biomass was also increased relative to controls by the end of the experiment. Defoliated pine seedlings had increased leaf mass and total biomass relative to controls by the end of the experiment. Defoliated oak seedlings showed no compensatory responses. Leaf lifespan did not appear to be a determinant of response amount or type. Instead, we suggest that degree of allocation of resources to aboveground growth, as indicated by root-to-shoot ratio, may be related to degree of compensation to partial defoliation.
Five new specimens and 49 echolocation records (< 0.2% of all echolocation sequences recorded) identified as eastern pipistrelle, Pipistrellus subflavus (F. Cuvier) are documented in New Brunswick. Previously this bat was known in New Brunswick from a single specimen discovered over-wintering in a natural limestone cave. New records show the eastern pipistrelle confined to the Fundy coast of New Brunswick, but over-wintering in both natural caves and an abandoned graphite mine. In New Brunswick, where they have been recorded hibernating with congregations of Myotis species, eastern pipistrelles comprised less than 1.5% of the bats present. Pipistrelle echolocation sequences that are the first reports for the species outside winter roosting habitat in New Brunswick indicate a strong preference for feeding over water. Both echolocation sequences and specimen records suggest that the eastern pipistrelle is of very rare but regular occurrence in southern coastal New Brunswick. The species' provincial distribution may be influenced by the availability of caves and mines suitable for over-wintering.
A dramatic increase in the interest in the dragonfly and damselfly (Odonata) fauna of New England has led to many new discoveries recently. We document the occurrence of six species of Odonata previously unknown from Massachusetts: furtive forktail (Ischnura prognata), subarctic darner (Aeshna subarctica), taper-tailed darner (Gomphaeschna antilope), incurvate emerald (Somatochlora incurvata), bar-winged skimmer (Libellula axilena), and striped glider (Tramea calverti). Four of these species were unknown from New England prior to 1995. Additionally, we discuss recent records of coppery emerald (Somatochlora georgiana) and variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum), two species rarely recorded from New England.
A small benthic juvenile scrawled cowfish, Acanthostracion quadricornis (Linnaeus 1758), is reported from the Hudson River. A description of this life stage is provided and the specimen is identified as a scrawled cowfish based on several morphological characters.
Larval and juvenile lumpfish, Cyclopterus lumpus L., were collected and measured over a 20-year period, 1979–1999, from tidepools along the coast of Maine. Using this extensive data base reduces the effects of annual variations in hatching times, early growth patterns, and locale for analyzing monthly size using length measurements. This can provide an effective field measurement of intertidal growth. Most fish were encountered during the months of July and August, and even when adjusted for number of sampling trips, 78% of the juveniles were encountered in tidepools during these months. Based on average lengths, size increased by 23% between June and July, 43% between July and August, and 34% between August and September.
The first record of the erythristic phenotype of the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) is reported from Pennsylvania at the southern edge of the glaciated plateau. The site in Elk County contains the highest population frequency of the red morph reported to date (47.4%).
Male weakfish, Cynoscion regalis, produce drumming sounds with sonic muscles that vibrate the swim bladder, and a second sound dubbed “chatter,” circumstantially linked to weakfish, is likely produced by cusk-eels (family Ophidiidae.) These sounds have been recorded in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island from early June to early September since 1965. At Middlebridge on the Pettaquamscutt River (Narrow River) there are typically 8 to 14 callers (“chattering”) present within a season, based on spectrographic and amplitude signatures. A typical chatter is a train of pulses with durations of up to 2.4 seconds with most energy between 800 Hz to 1800 Hz. Drumming consists of shorter pulse trains of lower pitch. Drumming is present in the spring, and chatter is present in the spring and summer. It was possible to identify individual chatterers throughout a season, and sound data suggest that individual fish are relatively stationary within separate ranges.