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Frugivory by birds, seed rain and evaluation of restoration technique in an urban forest fragment

Grant number: 12/00052-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2012
Effective date (End): December 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Wesley Rodrigues Silva
Grantee:Larissa Godinho Nemes
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The bird mediated seed dispersal process has great importance to the conservation management and can be used as a restoration tool in areas degraded by human activities, like small forest fragments in urban areas. There are several techniques that aim the restoration/enrichment of forest habitats, which can lead to local increases in biological diversity. Some of these techniques make use of the seed rain generated by seed dispersers, but it is necessary a better targeting and control of the seeds introduced in these habitats. This project aims the development and the testing of an alternative technique for dispersing seeds in a more controlled way in a forest fragment. Applying the knowledge on seed dispersal mechanisms to the processes that drive natural regeneration is a major challenge of our time. From January to December 2012 bird and ornithochorous plant censuses will be conducted in an urban forest fragment in Campinas, SP, Brazil. The interactions between frugivorous birds and plants will be recorded, and the fruiting phenology of these plants as well. Fruits of allochthonous plant species (not present in the fragment) will be offered to the birds and their seed rain will be monitored by seed traps evenly scattered throughout the area. The spatial and temporal structure of the seed rain, for both the allochthonous and autochthonous species, will be compared in order to evaluate the efficiency of this technique in the process of restoration/enrichment of this forest fragment. (AU)

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