Environmental Science and Management (ESM)
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Brady A Porter
Barcoding, COI, Diet, Macroinvertebrates, motacilla, Parkesia
The Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) (LOWA) is a Neotropical-Nearctic migrant songbird that annually breeds in the Eastern United States. As an obligate riparian species, it preys upon a diverse community of benthic macroinvertebrates along headwater streams. Fecal material potentially contains residual DNA that can be used to molecularly identify prey species. The objective of this study was to develop a non-invasive technique capable of elucidating the diet of Waterthrush nestlings from residual DNA present in fecal sacs via DNA barcoding. Our limited analysis revealed that the majority of the analyzed fecal sacs were comprised of an acid-sensitive family of Ephemerotperan (Heptageniidae) in addition to Megalopterans and Dipterans. These results suggest that the technique of DNA barcoding can be utilized to accurately identify prey species from residual DNA found in avian fecal samples, which may improve our understanding of landscape-level factors affecting riparian bird communities and guide future conservation efforts.
Trevelline, B. (2013). Evaluation of DNA Barcoding as a Technique for Elucidating the Diet of Louisiana Waterthrush Nestlings (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1293