Frugivory and seed dispersal in the Cerrado: Network structure and defaunation effects
Seed dispersal is an important process for ecosystem functioning. The Brazilian Cerrado, the world’s largest and most biodiverse savanna, contains a plethora of animal dispersed plant woody plant species. The Cerrado region is understudied and identifying species roles in ecosystem networks needs to be better understood for evolutionary and conservation purposes.
Goals and Methods
The authors conduct a systematic literature review to form a seed dispersal network of the Cerrado. Plant-frugivore interactions, plant and animal species studies, and dispersal network papers are examined and included in a matrix for analysis.
Conclusions and Takeaways
The structure of the Cerrado seed dispersal network is heterogeneous and shows signs of ecological resilience. Small birds and other generalist species make up the majority of interactions and are an important seed disperser group. There is evidence of defaunation impact on fruited plants. The authors conclude that much more information is needed to develop effective conservation policies.
Frugivory and seed dispersal in the Cerrado: Network structure and defaunation effects. Biotropica. 2023. doi:10.1111/btp.13234..