Books  Ornithology  Conservation, Care & Monitoring 

Habitat, Population Dynamics, and Metal Levels in Colonial Waterbirds: A Food Chain Approach

Series: CRC Marine Science

By: Joanna Burger(Author), Michael Gochfeld(Author), Carl Safina(Foreword By)

565 pages, 8 plates with 16 colour photos; 332 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, 82 tables

Apple Academic Press

Hardback | Jun 2016 | #223659 | ISBN-13: 9781482251128
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £94.99 $122 / €109 approx

About this book

Habitat, Population Dynamics, and Metal Levels in Colonial Waterbirds is a result of the authors' more than 40 years of study on the behavior, populations, and heavy metals in the colonial waterbirds nesting in Barnegat Bay and the nearby estuaries and bays in the Northeastern United States. From Boston Harbor to the Chesapeake, based on longitudinal studies of colonial waterbirds, it provides a clear picture of the toxic trends and effects of heavy metals in the aquatic environment. The authors take a food web, ecosystem approach to contaminants, using population dynamics, habitat selection, and inputs to the bay to examine metal levels. They also look at the human dimension, discuss what metals in birds tell us about human exposure, and describe stakeholder involvement in these issues.

Habitat, Population Dynamics, and Metal Levels in Colonial Waterbirds covers numbers and dynamics, colony sites and locations, and prey contaminant levels, and compares them to other comparable coastal estuaries. It uses colonial waterbirds as the focal point for an ecosystem approach to metals that begins with prey fish and goes through invertebrates to humans. Additionally, it provides information based on long-term integrative studies the authors have done on metal levels and bird species and compares the findings with data from the Harbor Estuaries Program, other Northeast bays, the Great Lakes, and the Wadden Sea.

"Reading Habitat, Population Dynamics, and Metal Levels in Colonial Waterbirds: A Food Chain Approach will make you an expert of sorts on Barnegat Bay and the Northeast estuaries. That might seem an ambitious goal for the authors as well as the reader. But it really is not the goal. It is merely the starting point. The bay needs advocates and defenders. And advocates and defenders need experts. That is where you will come in."
– Carl Safina, Director, The Safina Center at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York (from the Foreword)



Objectives of This Book
Biomonitoring and Bioindicators
Using Colonial Waterbirds as Bioindicators and Sentinels
Habitat Diversity and Changes
Environmental Contaminants
Human Dimensions
Summary and Conclusions

Barnegat Bay and Other Northeast Estuaries
National Estuary Program
Barnegat Bay Ecosystem
Massachusetts Bays and Boston Harbor
Buzzards Bay and Nearby Waters
Long Island Sound and Peconic Bay
New York-New Jersey Harbor
Delaware Bay Estuary
Chesapeake Bay
Summary and Conclusions

Species, Methods, and Approaches
Ethical Issues in Field Studies
Conservation Status Definitions
Taxonomy and Nomenclature
Primary Species Descriptions
Secondary Species Descriptions
Barnegat Bay Methods
Collection of Data from Other Bays and Estuaries
Collection of Samples for Metal Analysis
Metal Analysis
Statistical Analysis
Summary and Conclusions


Habitat Loss
Habitat and Activity
Available Habitat and Suitable Habitat
Habitat Selection
Factors Affecting Colony and Nest Site Selection
Temporal, Horizontal, and Vertical Stratification
Summary and Conclusions

Population Trends of Colonial Waterbirds in Barnegat Bay
Barnegat Bay Colonies
Sandy Beach Habitats
Spatial Variation
Temporal Trends
Summary and Conclusions

Population Trends of Colonial Waterbirds in Other Northeast Bays
Massachusetts Bays and the Region
Buzzards Bay
Long Island Sound
New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary
Delaware Bay
Chesapeake Bay
Summary and Conclusions

Global Warming, Sea Level Rise, and Suitable Nesting and Foraging Habitats
Environmental Effects of Global Warming and Sea Level Rise on Coastal Habitats
Climate Change and Nonavian Species
Climate Change Effects on Birds
Available Habitats and Changes in Barnegat Bay
Sea Level Rise and Avian Responses in Barnegat Bay
Foraging Birds in Bays and Estuaries
Implications for Future Populations
Summary and Conclusions


Overview of Ecotoxicology for Birds
Background on Organic and Inorganic Pollutants
General Principles Affecting Metals in the Environment
Exposure Assessment and Toxicokinetics
Toxic Effects of Metals and Toxicodynamics
Establishing Causation of Toxic Effects
Summary and Conclusions

Effects of Metals in Birds
Summary and Conclusions

Heavy Metals in Fish, Lower Trophic Levels, and Passerine Birds
Lower Trophic Levels
Horseshoe Crabs
Fish as Bioindicators
Natural History Background
Prey Fish
Summary and Conclusions

Heavy Metal Levels in Terns and Black Skimmers
Common Terns
Forster’s Tern
Roseate Terns
Black Skimmers
Summary and Conclusions

Heavy Metal Levels in Gulls
Great Black-Backed Gull
Herring Gull
Laughing Gull
Summary and Conclusions

Heavy Metal Levels in Herons, Egrets, Night-Herons, and Ibises
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Black-Crowned Night-Heron
Other Species
Summary and Conclusions


Heavy Metals, Trophic Levels, Food Chains, and Future Risks
Effects Levels and Individual Variation
Levels in Feathers Associated with Effects
Levels in Eggs Associated with Effects
Building Food Chains
Implications for People
Human Exposure to Mercury from Fish
Lessons Learned
Summary and Conclusions

Colonial Waterbirds—The Future
Current Status of Waterbird Populations in Northeast Bays
Indices of Vulnerability and Risks of Species
Recovery, Resiliency, and Adaptations
Summary and Conclusions

Color Insert


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Joanna Burger, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Biology in the Department of Ecology Evolution and Natural Resources, and Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University, Piscataway (New Jersey). She is a member of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute and the Rutgers School of Public Health. Her main scientific interests include the social behavior of vertebrates, ecological risk evaluations, ecotoxicology, and the intersections between ecological and human health. Dr. Burger has published more than 700 refereed papers and more than 20 books. Additionally, she has received the Brewster Medal from the American Ornithologists’ Union (AOU) and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for Risk Analysis.

Michael Gochfeld, MD, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and School of Public Health, Piscataway, New Jersey. He is an occupational physician and environmental toxicologist at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute of Rutgers University. His main research interest has encompassed ecotoxicologic studies, primarily of birds. His biomedical interest focuses on heavy metal exposure and risk assessment for humans from consumption of fish, balancing the benefits against the toxicity of methylmercury. Dr. Gochfeld has coauthored or coedited eight books on protecting hazardous waste workers, avian reproductive ecology, and New Jersey’s biodiversity, as well as a textbook, Environmental Medicine.

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