Do seasonally fluctuating aquatic subsidies influence the distribution pattern of birds between riparian and upland forests?

Akane Uesugi, Masashi Murakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Seasonal fluctuation of allochthonous subsidies influences food web structure and dynamics in recipient communities. This study investigated whether aquatic subsidies influence the dynamics of insectivorous birds in entire catchment. We estimated the prey biomass and bird density in riparian and upland habitats in three catchments in temperate deciduous forests in Hokkaido, Japan. Aquatic prey was found only in riparian forests and the biomass peaked in early spring, while terrestrial prey was equally distributed between habitats and increased in biomass in late spring. Bird density was higher in riparian than in upland forests before bud break, when the biomass of aquatic insects peaked, but was similar in both forests during the rest of the seasons. These results suggest that aquatic prey subsidies are used not only by birds inhabiting riparian forests, but also by birds associated with upland forests. Aquatic prey subsidies may be particularly important in the spring as a critical food resource for survival and the breeding activities of birds, thereby, influencing the population dynamics of bird communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-281
Number of pages8
JournalEcological Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Allochthonous input
  • Catchment
  • Insectivorous songbirds
  • Prey switching
  • Terrestrial productivity

Cite this