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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Rewilding defaunated Atlantic Forests with tortoises to restore lost seed dispersal functions

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Author(s):
Sobral-Souza, Thadeu [1, 2] ; Lautenschlager, Lais [1] ; Morcatty, Thais Queiroz [3, 4] ; Bello, Carolina [1] ; Hansen, Dennis [5, 6] ; Galetti, Mauro [1]
Total Authors: 6
Affiliation:
[1] Univ Estadual Paulista UNESP, Inst Biociencias, Dept Ecol, BR-13506900 Rio Claro, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Metropolitana Santos UNIMES, Biol Sci Course, Dept Educ, Santos, SP - Brazil
[3] Wildlife Conservat Soc Brazil, BR-69067005 Manaus, Amazonas - Brazil
[4] INPA, Programa Posgrad Ecol, BR-69011970 Manaus, Amazonas - Brazil
[5] Univ Zurich, Zool Museum, Zurich - Switzerland
[6] Univ Zurich, Dept Evolutionary Biol & Environm Studies, Zurich - Switzerland
Total Affiliations: 6
Document type: Journal article
Source: PERSPECTIVES IN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION; v. 15, n. 4, p. 300-307, OCT-DEC 2017.
Web of Science Citations: 7
Abstract

The extinction of frugivores has been considered one of the main drivers of the disruption of important ecological processes, such as seed dispersal. Many defaunated forests are too small to restore function by reintroducing large frugivores, such as tapirs or Ateline monkeys, and the long-term fate of large-seeded plants in these areas is uncertain. However, such small fragments still host many species and play relevant ecosystem services. Here, we explore the use of two tortoise species, the red-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonarius) and the yellow-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulatus), as ecological substitutes for locally extinct large seed dispersers in small forest patches in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We employed prior knowledge on the known occurrences of Chelonoidis species and used ecological niche modeling (ENM) to identify forest patches for tortoise rewilding. Based on habitat suitability, food availability and conservation co-benefits, we further refined our analysis and identified that the more suitable areas for tortoise reintroduction are forest patches of northern Atlantic Forest, areas with high defaunation intensity. Giant tortoises have been used to restore lost ecological services in island ecosystems. We argue that reintroducing relatively smaller tortoises is an easy-to-use/control conservation measure that could be employed to partially substitute the seed dispersal services of extinct large disperser species, mitigating the negative cascading effects of defaunation on reducing plant diversity. (C) 2017 Associacao Brasileira de Ciencia Ecologica e Conservacao. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/22492-2 - Linking defaunation to carbon storage ecosystem services in Atlantic rainforests
Grantee:Laura Carolina Bello Lozano
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
FAPESP's process: 14/01986-0 - Ecological consequences of defaunation in the Atlantic Rainforest
Grantee:Mauro Galetti Rodrigues
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants