This article was originally published in  the Journal of Field Ornithology.


Abstract: Our fascination with birds is as old as our fascination with nature itself, reflected by innumerable works on the diversity, beauty, symbolic strength, and great importance of exploring and understanding biodiversity. This book shows how humans and birds have been interconnected for thousands of years by taking a deep look at avian ecological functions and ecosystem services.

The concept of ecosystem services, i.e., such aspects of the earth that benefit humans, puts these relationships into a new and fascinating light. In times of a rapidly growing human population, ongoing agricultural intensification, and transformation and loss of natural habitats and biodiversity, these services become increasingly important. Driven by pioneering scientific work and the impact of global studies on politics and society, numerous studies have clearly demonstrated the incredible variety of natural processes and functions that contribute to healthy ecosystems and human well-being.

Birds play a critical key role in providing these services and contribute to all defined classes of ecosystem services, including provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services. Studies of this concept, its omnipresence and impact on all aspects of life and human well-being, illustrate its relevance to our present view of nature and our relationship to it—raising numerous crucial questions for our future…”

Read on at: Journal of Field Ornithology.