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The use of anthropogenic marine debris as a nesting material by brown boobies (Sula leucogaster)


Grant, ML and Lavers, JL and Stuckenbrock, S and Sharp, PB and Bond, AL, The use of anthropogenic marine debris as a nesting material by brown boobies (Sula leucogaster), Marine Pollution Bulletin, 137 pp. 96-103. ISSN 0025-326X (2018) [Refereed Article]

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2018 Elsevier Ltd.

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.10.016


Marine debris is pervasive worldwide, and affects biota negatively. We compared the characteristics of debris incorporated within brown booby (Sula leucogaster) nests throughout their pantropical distribution by assessing the type, colour and mass of debris items within nests and in beach transects at 18 sites, to determine if nests are indicators of the amount of debris in local marine environments. Debris was present in 14.4% of nests surveyed, with the proportion of nests with debris varying among sites (range: 0100%). There was minimal overlap between the type or colour of debris found in nests and on adjacent beaches at individual sites. This suggests that brown boobies do not select debris uniformly across their distribution. We propose that the nests of brown boobies can be used as a sentinel of marine debris pollution of their local environment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seabird ecology, plastic pollution, marine debris, bioindicator, litter, nesting ecology, Pantropical oceans
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Grant, ML (Miss Megan Grant)
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
UTAS Author:Bond, AL (Dr Alexander Bond)
ID Code:128783
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2018-10-12
Last Modified:2018-11-23
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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