Vulnerability of seabirds on the Great Barrier Reef to climate change
Author(s)Congdon, Bradley C.
Erwin, Carol A.
Peck, Darren R.
Baker, G. Barry
Double, Michael C.
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Abstract[Extract] Seabirds are highly visible, charismatic predators in marine ecosystems that are defined as feeding exclusively at sea, in either nearshore, offshore or pelagic waters. At a conservative estimate there are approximately 0.7 billion individuals of 309 species of seabirds globally¹⁵. Such high population abundance means that in all ecosystems where seabirds occur the levels of marine resources they consume are significant¹⁵. Such high consumption rates also mean that seabirds play a number of important functional roles in marine ecosystems, including the transfer of nutrients from offshore and pelagic areas to islands and reefs, seed dispersal and the distribution of organic matter into lower parts of the developing soil profile (eg burrow-nesting species such as shearwaters)⁵⁷.
Congdon, Bradley C., Erwin, Carol A., Peck, Darren R., Baker, G. Barry, Double, Michael C., and O'Neill, Paul (2007) Vulnerability of seabirds on the Great Barrier Reef to climate change. In: Johnson, Johanna E., and Marshall, Paul A., (eds.) Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef: a vulnerability assessment. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville, QLD, Australia, pp. 427-464.