Monster Seminar JAM - Seabirds as Ecosystem Indicators in the North Pacific: Application to Management and Conservation
Dr. William J. Sydeman, PRBO Conservation Science
For decades marine ornithologists have argued that seabirds are good biological indicators of environmental "health" (i.e., levels of pollution) and a variety of ecosystem constituents (e.g., forage fish stocks). As interest grows in developing novel approaches to marine conservation, including "ecosystem management" and an "ecosystem-based approach" to fisheries conservation, there is renewed interest in the role of seabirds as indicators, and its potential application to management science. There are at least 10 ways that seabirds can serve as indicators including: (1) seabirds as indicators of meso- and large-scale (e.g., water mass) marine habitat characteristics, (2) seabirds as indicators of temporal environmental variation and climate change, (3) seabirds as indicators of ecosystem controls (bottom-up, top down, wasp-waist), (4) seabirds as indicators of fish stocks, (5) seabirds as indicators of zooplankton stocks, (6) seabirds as indicators of fish and zooplankton communities (i.e., the multi-species level), (7) seabirds as indicators of contaminants (metals, OCs, and other contaminants, oil), (8) seabirds as indicators of harmful algal blooms (HABs), (9) seabirds as indictors of fisheries and other human impacts on marine ecosystems, and (10) seabirds as indicators for fisheries management and ecosystem-based management (EBM) in general. In this paper, we review some of the evidence for seabirds as ecosystem indicators in the North Pacific, and address potential management applications.
Date and Time:
March 16, 2006,
11:00 am - 12:30 pm