Why Birds Matter: Avian Ecological Function And Ecosystem Services

Paperback | August 24, 2016

EditorÇagan H. Sekercioglu, Daniel G. Wenny, Christopher J. Whelan

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For over one hundred years, ornithologists and amateur birders have jointly campaigned for the conservation of bird species, documenting not only birds’ beauty and extraordinary diversity, but also their importance to ecosystems worldwide. But while these avian enthusiasts have noted that birds eat fruit, carrion, and pests; spread seed and fertilizer; and pollinate plants, among other services, they have rarely asked what birds are worth in economic terms. In Why Birds Matter, an international collection of ornithologists, botanists, ecologists, conservation biologists, and environmental economists seeks to quantify avian ecosystem services—the myriad benefits that birds provide to humans.

The first book to approach ecosystem services from an ornithological perspective, Why Birds Matter asks what economic value we can ascribe to those services, if any, and how this value should inform conservation. Chapters explore the role of birds in such important ecological dynamics as scavenging, nutrient cycling, food chains, and plant-animal interactions—all seen through the lens of human well-being—to show that quantifying avian ecosystem services is crucial when formulating contemporary conservation strategies. Both elucidating challenges and providing examples of specific ecosystem valuations and guidance for calculation, the contributors propose that in order to advance avian conservation, we need to appeal not only to hearts and minds, but also to wallets.

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For over one hundred years, ornithologists and amateur birders have jointly campaigned for the conservation of bird species, documenting not only birds’ beauty and extraordinary diversity, but also their importance to ecosystems worldwide. But while these avian enthusiasts have noted that birds eat fruit, carrion, and pests; spread see...

Çagan H. Sekercioglu is professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Utah, associate of ornithology at the Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology, and distinguished visiting fellow at Koç University of Istanbul. He is coauthor, most recently, of Conservation of Tropical Birds and Winged Sentinels: Birds and Cli...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:August 24, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022638263X

ISBN - 13:9780226382630

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Jeffrey A. Gordon
Preface

Chapter 1. Bird Ecosystem Services: Economic Ornithology for the 21st Century
Christopher J. Whelan, Çagan H. Sekercioglu, and Daniel G. Wenny

Chapter 2. Why Birds Matter Economically: Values, Markets, and Policies
Matthew D. Johnson and Steven C. Hackett

Chapter 3. Trophic Interaction Networks and Ecosystem Services
Christopher J. Whelan, Diana F. Tomback, Dave Kelly, and Matthew D. Johnson

Chapter 4. Pollination by Birds: A Functional Evaluation
Sandra H. Anderson, Dave Kelly, Alastair W. Robertson, and Jenny J. Ladley

Chapter 5. Seed Dispersal by Fruit-Eating Birds
Daniel G. Wenny, Çagan H. Sekercioglu, Norbert J. Cordeiro, Haldre S. Rogers, and Dave Kelly

Chapter 6. Dispersal of Plants by Waterbirds
Andy J. Green, Merel Soons, Anne-Laure Brochet, and Erik Kleyheeg

Chapter 7. Seed Dispersal by Corvids: Birds That Build Forests
Diana F. Tomback

Chapter 8. Ecosystem Services Provided by Avian Scavengers
Travis L. DeVault, James C. Beasley, Zachary H. Olson, Marcos Moleón, Martina Carrete, Antoni Margalida, and José Antonio Sánchez-Zapata

Chapter 9. Nutrient Dynamics and Nutrient Cycling by Birds
Motoko Fujita and Kayoko O. Kameda

Chapter 10. Avian Ecosystem Engineers: Birds That Excavate Cavities
Chris Floyd and Kathy Martin

Chapter 11. Avian Ecological Functions and Ecosystem Services in the Tropics
Çagan H. Sekercioglu and Evan R. Buechley

Chapter 12. Why Birds Matter: Bird Ecosystem Services That Promote Biodiversity and Support Human Well-Being
Çagan H. Sekercioglu, Daniel G. Wenny, Christopher J. Whelan, and Chris Floyd

Contributors
Index

Editorial Reviews

“For those with an interest in avian/human ecology.”