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Seed dispersal and seed predation in the Nigerian rainforest, and its connection to bushmeat hunting

Simonsson, Frida LU (2012) MVEK02 20121
Studies in Environmental Science
Abstract
The main objective in this project is to study the seed dispersal and seed predation for the tree Pycnanthus angolensis in the Nigerian rainforest, and to evaluate the impacts of bushmeat hunting. One of the problems with bushmeat hunting is that it can disrupt the dispersal dynamics of forest trees. Bushmeat hunting is a widespread problem in the whole of Africa. The meat of wild forest animals are an important food supply and have greatly increased along with the rapid population growth the last decades. Many mammal species are severely reduced in numbers and threatened by extinction due to the bushmeat hunting, but also deforestation and habitat loss. Some of those species are frugivores and large mammals, for example primates. Since... (More)
The main objective in this project is to study the seed dispersal and seed predation for the tree Pycnanthus angolensis in the Nigerian rainforest, and to evaluate the impacts of bushmeat hunting. One of the problems with bushmeat hunting is that it can disrupt the dispersal dynamics of forest trees. Bushmeat hunting is a widespread problem in the whole of Africa. The meat of wild forest animals are an important food supply and have greatly increased along with the rapid population growth the last decades. Many mammal species are severely reduced in numbers and threatened by extinction due to the bushmeat hunting, but also deforestation and habitat loss. Some of those species are frugivores and large mammals, for example primates. Since primates are important seed dispersers in the forests, they are important in the recruitment of many tree species. The loss of dispersers could ultimately lead to long-term effects of the forest structure, dynamics and plant community composition. As a result of the absence of larger frugivores, it is expected to see an increase of seed predators and smaller frugivores. Due to attracted host-specific pathogens and the high densities of fruits and seeds close to the adult tree, it is important for the seeds and seedlings to disperse some distance away, to increase the chances of maturing. The Janzen-Connell hypothesis predicts seeds dispersal of trees in lowland tropical forests. The hypothesis predicts that if the dispersal is efficient, the seed dispersal is the most efficient some distance away from the mother tree and other adult trees from the same species. According to the results there are more seeds in relationship to the seed coats in the hunted area, which indicates that less of the seeds are dispersed outside of the crown. The results of less seed-ratio in the non-hunted area could also indicate in a higher seed predation. The results also showed that there were seed predators, rodents, eating on the seeds we put out in piles, particularly mice and squirrels. These impacts will alter the composition of the species and the future forests might look different than today. This will lead to a decline of the disfavoured species, i.e. the primate dispersed species, and an increase of the favoured species. Therefore it is important to inform the local people about the future changes in their environment, due to the bushmeat hunting. (Less)
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author
Simonsson, Frida LU
supervisor
organization
course
MVEK02 20121
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Seed dispersal, seed predation, bushmeat hunting, Pycnanthus angolensis, the Jansen-Connell hypothesis.
language
English
id
4698669
date added to LUP
2016-09-13 09:43:57
date last changed
2016-09-13 09:43:57
@misc{4698669,
  abstract     = {The main objective in this project is to study the seed dispersal and seed predation for the tree Pycnanthus angolensis in the Nigerian rainforest, and to evaluate the impacts of bushmeat hunting. One of the problems with bushmeat hunting is that it can disrupt the dispersal dynamics of forest trees. Bushmeat hunting is a widespread problem in the whole of Africa. The meat of wild forest animals are an important food supply and have greatly increased along with the rapid population growth the last decades. Many mammal species are severely reduced in numbers and threatened by extinction due to the bushmeat hunting, but also deforestation and habitat loss. Some of those species are frugivores and large mammals, for example primates. Since primates are important seed dispersers in the forests, they are important in the recruitment of many tree species. The loss of dispersers could ultimately lead to long-term effects of the forest structure, dynamics and plant community composition. As a result of the absence of larger frugivores, it is expected to see an increase of seed predators and smaller frugivores. Due to attracted host-specific pathogens and the high densities of fruits and seeds close to the adult tree, it is important for the seeds and seedlings to disperse some distance away, to increase the chances of maturing. The Janzen-Connell hypothesis predicts seeds dispersal of trees in lowland tropical forests. The hypothesis predicts that if the dispersal is efficient, the seed dispersal is the most efficient some distance away from the mother tree and other adult trees from the same species. According to the results there are more seeds in relationship to the seed coats in the hunted area, which indicates that less of the seeds are dispersed outside of the crown. The results of less seed-ratio in the non-hunted area could also indicate in a higher seed predation. The results also showed that there were seed predators, rodents, eating on the seeds we put out in piles, particularly mice and squirrels. These impacts will alter the composition of the species and the future forests might look different than today. This will lead to a decline of the disfavoured species, i.e. the primate dispersed species, and an increase of the favoured species. Therefore it is important to inform the local people about the future changes in their environment, due to the bushmeat hunting.},
  author       = {Simonsson, Frida},
  keyword      = {Seed dispersal,seed predation,bushmeat hunting,Pycnanthus angolensis,the Jansen-Connell hypothesis.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Seed dispersal and seed predation in the Nigerian rainforest, and its connection to bushmeat hunting},
  year         = {2012},
}