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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Sedimentation of Prairie Wetlands

Effects on Wildlife

An important function of wetlands is to provide wildlife habitat. Alteration of vegetative cover and aquatic invertebrate communities has a direct impact on all wetland wildlife. Aquatic invertebrates are important dietary items of waterfowl (Krapu 1974a; Swanson et al. 1974, 1985; Euliss and Harris 1987; Miller 1987; Euliss et al. 1991) and other wetland-dependent birds (Reeder 1951; Fritzell et al. 1979). Protein-rich invertebrate foods are needed to meet the physiological demands of egg-laying for hens during the breeding season (Krapu 1979) and they provide essential amino acids for other seasonal changes such as feather molt (Heitmeyer 1988). The impact of sedimentation on wetland wildlife is likely indirect, involving habitat changes in response to siltation events.
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