Effects of winter flooding on mass and gross energy of bottomland hardwood acorns
Decomposition of red oak acorns (Quercus spp.; Section Erythrobalanus) could decrease forage biomass and gross energy (GE) available to wintering ducks from acorns. We estimated changes in mass and GE for 3 species of red oak acorns in flooded and non-flooded bottomland hardwood forests in Mississippi during winter 2009–2010. Mass loss of acorns was ≤ 8.1% and reduction in GE ≤ 0.03 kcal/g after exposure for 90 days. These small changes in mass and GE of red oak acorns would have minimal effect on carrying capacity of bottomland hardwood forests for ducks.