Modelling the effectiveness of the Toucan as a seed disperser

Large frugivorous (animals that eat fruit)  are essential for the seed dispersal of many plants. When frugivores become extinct in an area (often because habitats have become fragmented and patches are too small to support them), rapid evolutionary changes have been observed in seed size and plant dispersal is adversely effected.

Toucans can act as functional substitutes for large frugivores

Toucans (Ramphastos toco) inhabit forests and open areas, including small fragments. This is very important, because generally, fragmented areas don’t have large frugivores that can eat large seeds, reducing the dispersal effectiveness of several plant species. The toucan can act like a functional substitute of  large frugivores that are absent from small patches, contributing for the movement of the seeds between patches. This project aims to understand how the movement ecology of  Toucans  is influenced by natural and anthropogenic spatial heterogeneity within fragmented landscapes.

Models based on mataki results will be used to verify the effectiveness of the Toucan as a seed disperser and as a functional substitute of the extinct fauna in fragmented areas.


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About Vincent Miller

Vincent Miller has been playing an important role in the technology community for quite a long time already. He is one of the most active and visible members of this community. He is an academic with a strong online presence. He articles are debated over by the community as he raises many important questions in his work.

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