Habitat, Population Dynamics, and Metal Levels in Colonial Waterbirds: A Food Chain Approach, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Habitat, Population Dynamics, and Metal Levels in Colonial Waterbirds

A Food Chain Approach, 1st Edition

By Joanna Burger, Michael Gochfeld

CRC Press

565 pages | 9 Color Illus. | 332 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2016-06-20
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Description

This book 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.

The book 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.

Reviews

"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)

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION TO BARNEGAT BAY AND NORTHEAST ESTUARIES

Introduction

Introduction

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

Introduction

National Estuary Program

Ecoregions

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

Introduction

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 AND POPULATION DYNAMICS

Habitat

Introduction

Habitat Loss

Habitat and Activity

Available Habitat and Suitable Habitat

Habitat Selection

Coloniality

Factors Affecting Colony and Nest Site Selection

Temporal, Horizontal, and Vertical Stratification

Foraging

Summary and Conclusions

Population Trends of Colonial Waterbirds in Barnegat Bay

Introduction

Barnegat Bay Colonies

Sandy Beach Habitats

Spatial Variation

Temporal Trends

Summary and Conclusions

Population Trends of Colonial Waterbirds in Other Northeast Bays

Introduction

Massachusetts Bays and the Region

Buzzards Bay

Long Island Sound

New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary

Delaware Bay

Chesapeake Bay

Discussion

Summary and Conclusions

Global Warming, Sea Level Rise, and Suitable Nesting and Foraging Habitats

Introduction

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

METALS

Overview of Ecotoxicology for Birds

Introduction

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

Introduction

Lead

Mercury

Cadmium

Selenium

Manganese

Chromium

Arsenic

Summary and Conclusions

Appendix

Heavy Metals in Fish, Lower Trophic Levels, and Passerine Birds

Introduction

Lower Trophic Levels

Horseshoe Crabs

Fish as Bioindicators

Natural History Background

Prey Fish

Finfish

Passerines

Summary and Conclusions

Heavy Metal Levels in Terns and Black Skimmers

Introduction

Common Terns

Forster’s Tern

Roseate Terns

Black Skimmers

Discussion

Summary and Conclusions

Heavy Metal Levels in Gulls

Introduction

Great Black-Backed Gull

Herring Gull

Laughing Gull

Discussion

Summary and Conclusions

Appendix

Heavy Metal Levels in Herons, Egrets, Night-Herons, and Ibises

Introduction

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Black-Crowned Night-Heron

Other Species

Discussion

Summary and Conclusions

Appendix

IMPLICATIONS, CONCLUSIONS, AND THE FUTURE

Heavy Metals, Trophic Levels, Food Chains, and Future Risks

Introduction

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

Appendix

Colonial Waterbirds—The Future

Introduction

Current Status of Waterbird Populations in Northeast Bays

Indices of Vulnerability and Risks of Species

Recovery, Resiliency, and Adaptations

Summary and Conclusions

Color Insert

References

About the Authors

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.

About the Series

CRC Marine Science

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NAT001000
NATURE / Animals / General
SCI026000
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
SCI039000
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / Marine Biology