Lowland tapirs facilitate seed dispersal in degraded Amazonian forests

25 de fevereiro de 2019

fev 25, 2019

Lucas N. Paolucci, Rogério L. Pereira, Ludmila Rattis, Divino V. Silvério, Nubia C. S. Marques, Marcia N. Macedo, Paulo M. Brando

The forests of southeastern Amazonia are highly threatened by disturbances such as fragmentation, understory fires, and extreme climatic events. Large‐bodied frugivores such as the lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) have the potential to offset this process, supporting natural forest regeneration by dispersing a variety of seeds over long distances to disturbed forests. However, we know little about their effectiveness as seed dispersers in degraded forest landscapes. Here, we investigate the seed dispersal function of lowland tapirs in Amazonian forests subject to a range of human (fire and fragmentation) and natural (extreme droughts and windstorms) disturbances, using a combination of field observations, camera traps, and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data.

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