Exploring the Effects of Cormorant Through the Use of Community Metabolism and Landscape Configuration
Strohschein, Marie - Susann (2012)
Strohschein, Marie - Susann
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During the last two decades, the growth of the cormorant population has increased almost exponentially in the Finnish archipelago. In consequence the input of nutrients from cormorants is causing landscape alterations to the breeding sites and conflicts between coastal inhabitants that see the Cormorant as a threat and conservationists who like to protect the bird. Since cormorants are nesting close to water, the nutrient runoff from the nesting sites may cause alterations in the aquatic community and could therefore contribute to eutrophication. The effects of eutrophication by cormorants on the subtidal hard bottoms community were analysed using a holistic approach which includes the estimation of oxygen fluctuation of the community. This method is known as community metabolism. I compared community metabolism estimations on islands with Cormorant nesting sites and islands without Cormorant nests. The research was executed at the Raseborg-Hanko region. Results showed that cormorants diminished community metabolism in the aquatic community on islands located in the inner archipelago. However, the communities located in the outer archipelago were not affected by the nutrient runoff from the cormorants. In conclusion, it seems to bet that the factor location of the islands is one of the factors that affect community metabolism.