Friday, May 8, 2009

Not all ecosystem services are sexy

Carcass removal - 'nuff said:

Prosser, P., C. Nattrass, and C. Prosser. 2008. Rate of removal of bird carcasses in arable farmland by predators and scavengers. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 71:601-608.


  1. Add to your list of not-so-sexy ecosystem services...dung removal. I've been incredibly impressed by the diversity of dung beetles in Namibia. Species specialize in different types of dung (wet, dry, not-so-wet). From personal experience, it takes less than 1.5 minutes for them to find fresh dung. The local dog park benefits considerably from this service, and a colleague at Polytechnic is talking about doing a study on dung build-up during the winter, when it is too cold for dung beetles, but not too cold for dog-walkers.

  2. Lars, Larkin, Walt might be interested in this since they witnessed a prairie chicken hen drop dead in front of them from intestinal parasites. I wonder what proportion of study populations succumb to disease, but are then scavenged and incorrectly concluded as predated.