Like bees, birds are important plant pollinators. Scientists have provided evidence that declining bird populations have negatively impacted plant reproduction. They found that on islands where bird populations have dwindled, the density of Rhabdothamnus solandri shrubs (shown above from figure 1 of the article) have also declined. This was attributed to reduced pollination and seed production. The full article appears in Science Magazine.
This decline in both the birds and the bees could be devastating for plants around the world. Scientists have pointed towards viral and fungal infections as a possible culprit in the demise of bees, but what about birds? Why are their populations declining?