Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences


Biology, Ecology.


MacIsaac, Hugh J.,




Six species of waterfowl including greater scaup (Aythya marila), lesser scaup (Aythya affinis), bufflehead (Bucephala albeola), canvasback (Aythya valisineria), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), and redhead (Aythya americana) were collected and analyzed for diet content, organic contaminant patterns (pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)), and stable isotope ($\sp{14}$C and $\sp{15}$N) signatures from 3 sites in the lower Great Lakes (Fighting Island, western Lake Erie, and Big Creek). Lesser and greater scaup from Fighting Island were classified into groups according to the percentage dry mass of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in the diet. Lesser and greater scaup classified as Dreissena-consumers had, on average, 85 and 67%, respectively, zebra mussel diet content as compared to 6 and 3% for individuals classified as macrophyte-consumers. Stable isotope analyses revealed that 'Dreissena-consumer' lesser and greater scaup were enriched 2.9$\perthous$ and 2.4$\perthous$ in $\sp{15}$N relative to 'macrophyte-consumer' conspecifics. As well, these 'mussel-consumer' waterfowl had 2.6$\perthous$ and 2.3$\perthous$ higher $\sp{15}$N levels relative to Dreissena, their principal prey. Using chemical octanol-water partition coefficients (K$\rm\sb{ow})$ a representative group of low-(pentachlorobenzene (QCB), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) # 28), mid-(PCBs # 105, 153) and high-(PCBs # 194, 206) K$\rm\sb{ow}$ compounds were examined in liver tissues for each group of waterfowl. Results revealed significant differences with respect to diet for high-K$\rm\sb{ow}$ compounds, though differences among species were insignificant. In each case, mussel-consumers had elevated concentrations of these compounds relative to individuals that avoided Dreissena. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Biological Sciences. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1995 .M39. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-06, page: 2297. Adviser: Hugh J. MacIsaac. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.