Biological synanthropy refers to human-mediated symbioses. Synanthropic birds are thus avian symbionts of humans. Such birds have a wide degree of relationship to humans, ranging from the almost obligate to the tangential. Avian synanthropy, which includes urbanized and urbanizing birds, is a common ecological relationship, to which at least 25% of North American birds can be referred. Species known to be specialists on early stages of ecological succession, as well as habitat generalists, may be predisposed to be synanthropic. This paper presents certain details on the scope of the behavior and discusses the taxonomic range of birds that can be judged to be synanthropic. Synanthropy may have demographic consequences, such as decreased longevity and increased fecundity.

Key words

Adaptation evolutionary rate fecundity habitat longevity succession symbiosis urbanization 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard F. Johnston
    • 1
  1. 1.Natural History Museum and Department of Ecology and EvolutionUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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