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Holocene Extinctions$
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Samuel T. Turvey

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199535095

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199535095.001.0001

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Procellariiform extinctions in the Holocene: threat processes and wider ecosystem-scale implications

Procellariiform extinctions in the Holocene: threat processes and wider ecosystem-scale implications

Chapter:
(p.151) CHAPTER 7 Procellariiform extinctions in the Holocene: threat processes and wider ecosystem-scale implications
Source:
Holocene Extinctions
Author(s):

R. Paul Scofield

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199535095.003.0007

The Procellariiformes — the order of oceanic tube-nosed seabirds that includes the albatrosses, petrels, and shearwaters — are an ancient group that has survived comparatively unchanged since the earliest Cenozoic. They exhibit comparatively low levels of extinction before the Late Quaternary; however, there is strong evidence that extensive species-level extinctions have occurred in the Holocene, and 56% of Holocene procellariiform species have lost populations. Recent extinctions in the group have been primarily driven by invasive mammal predation, as well as increasingly by direct fisheries mortality. There is growing recognition that a diverse range of terrestrial ecosystems are in fact supported by nutrients that originate from marine systems, with seabirds acting as a primary vector for nutrient transfer. Any disruption to these nutrient imports through seabird extinction may drastically affect ecosystems at both small and large scales, as has almost certainly already happened in regions such as New Zealand.

Keywords:   albatross, allochthonous nutrients, fisheries mortality, invasive mammals, mesopredator release, nutrient cycling, petrel, shearwater

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