Publication Date

2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Jones, Holly P.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Department

Department of Biological Sciences

LCSH

Biology||Island ecology--New Zealand--Hauraki Gulf Marine Park||Sea birds--Ecology--New Zealand--Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

Abstract

Species that compose island ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to extinctions. In New Zealand alone, since human settlement began around 1285AD, 41% of bird species have been driven to extinction. Seabirds play an important role on land and in terrestrial, intertidal and subtidal zones by subsidizing island ecosystems with guano. Additionally, burrow-nesting seabirds churn up the soil by digging the burrows in which they nest, resulting in significant soil disturbance, also called biopedturbation. Unfortunately, invasion of exotic species is among the leading causes of native species extinctions and consequent transformation of ecosystem function globally. One of the most damaging and widespread groups of introduced mammals are predatory rodents such as rats (Rattus spp.). Seabird populations are highly vulnerable to local extinctions caused by rats and this is exacerbated by life history traits of low adult mortality, delayed reproduction, low fecundity, and long incubation periods found in many seabird species. Invasive species removal in seabird breeding sites is one of the most promising ways to promote seabird conservation.

Comments

Advisors: Holly P. Jones.||Committee members: Nicholas A. Barber; David Towns.

Extent

65 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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