Distribution and Forage Potential of Some Insect Taxa Sampled with Sweep Nets in the Flood Plains of a Coastal Ramsar Site in Ghana ()
Wetland insect communities are an important food source for waterbirds. Yet studies on insect communities in West African coastal wetlands—a major foraging area for wintering waterbirds of the East Atlantic and Mediterranean flyways—are generally limited. This study investigated the forage potential, micro-spatial and temporal distribution of insects swept from air and low vegetation in Sakumo II—a coastal Ramsar site in Ghana. Insects of the families Thripidae, Coccinellidae, Tetrigidae and Acrididae dominated the wetland. Based on prey yield and abundance, Acrididae, Coccinellidae and Tetrigidae appeared to be most promising source of food for waterbirds. Despite the high abundance of Thripidae, their low per capita biomass rendered them a less promising food source particularly to large sized waterbird species. Spatial and temporal abundance and distributions of insects along both the latitudinal and longitudinal axes of the lagoon were non-significant. In recognition of the diversity and abundance of insects on the wetland, there is the need to investigate the disparity in the utilisation of the various taxa by waterbird species.
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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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