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Equalizing and stabilizing effects of avian seed dispersal on tropical forest regeneration

Grant number: 16/17194-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2016 - November 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal researcher:Marco Aurelio Pizo Ferreira
Grantee:Marco Aurelio Pizo Ferreira
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Pedro Henrique Santin Brancalion

Abstract

The most of plant diversity in tropical forests are composed of rare species. We question why these species persist at low densities if the coexistence of species is stable and the relative roles of the assembly by the niche versus assembly by dispersion are structuring these communities. We believe that frugivorous birds have great importance in this pattern of distribution of plants. Our hypotheses are: 1) Avian seed dispersers provide equalizing and stabilizing mechanisms that favor the maintenance of plant species diversity; 2) Activity of avian frugivores in deforested sites positively affects forest regeneration. 3) The activity of various assemblies of birds increases the effects equalization of seed dispersal. By means of combination of observations, frugivorous attraction experiments in a highly fragmented Atlantic Forest area and hierarchical modeling, we hope prove our hypothesis. We predict that as more frugivore species are involved in seed dispersal, stronger will be the equalizing effect and dominance of common plant species. We predict also that frugivorous birds can also stabilize seed dispersal rates by limiting the dispersal of relatively abundant seed species or dispersing the seeds of proportionally rare species at higher rates. Finally, we believe that the activity of birds can increase the intensity and diversity of seed dispersal, but not regeneration rates. This work will help us understand how the behavior, composition and diversity of frugivores influence the rates of regeneration and diversity of the forest, which will have practical applications in conservation and ecological restoration. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CAMARGO, PAULO H. S. A.; PIZO, MARCO A.; BRANCALION, PEDRO H. S.; CARLO, TOMAS A. Fruit traits of pioneer trees structure seed dispersal across distances on tropical deforested landscapes: Implications for restoration. JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY, v. 57, n. 12 JUL 2020. Web of Science Citations: 4.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.