Many global and European commitments state the need to plant billions of trees and restore millions of hectares of degraded ecosystems to contrast biodiversity loss, desertification and climate change. Seed dispersal is a crucial process promoting vegetation dynamics, and in the Mediterranean, up to 65% of woody plant species need animals for seed dispersal. Therefore, such mutualistic ecological interaction represents a key nature-based solution to help us reaching our commitments. In this presentation first we will report the strong expansion rate and correlated finescale spatio-temporal patterns of woody natural regeneration over a pastureland, using a spatially-explicit framework deployed over 30 ha inside the last large forest remnant in western Sicily, Italy. Then we will quantitatively demonstrate the key and complementary seed dispersal services promoted by birds, wild mammals and cattle across three different habitats, revealing the structure, specialization and modularity of the trophic and spatial seed dispersal networks. Finally, we will discuss the effects of human-made habitat heterogeneity and climate change on animal seed dispersal services and explore some strategies to take advantage of such services to promote ecological restoration of natural habitats as well as to increase biodiversity in agroecosystems.

Rafael da Silveira Bueno, Tommaso La Mantia (2022). Plant-animal seed dispersal interactions as key drivers of ecological restoration in a changing world. In Book of abstracts (pp. 111-111).

Plant-animal seed dispersal interactions as key drivers of ecological restoration in a changing world

Rafael da Silveira Bueno
;
Tommaso La Mantia
2022-09-07

Abstract

Many global and European commitments state the need to plant billions of trees and restore millions of hectares of degraded ecosystems to contrast biodiversity loss, desertification and climate change. Seed dispersal is a crucial process promoting vegetation dynamics, and in the Mediterranean, up to 65% of woody plant species need animals for seed dispersal. Therefore, such mutualistic ecological interaction represents a key nature-based solution to help us reaching our commitments. In this presentation first we will report the strong expansion rate and correlated finescale spatio-temporal patterns of woody natural regeneration over a pastureland, using a spatially-explicit framework deployed over 30 ha inside the last large forest remnant in western Sicily, Italy. Then we will quantitatively demonstrate the key and complementary seed dispersal services promoted by birds, wild mammals and cattle across three different habitats, revealing the structure, specialization and modularity of the trophic and spatial seed dispersal networks. Finally, we will discuss the effects of human-made habitat heterogeneity and climate change on animal seed dispersal services and explore some strategies to take advantage of such services to promote ecological restoration of natural habitats as well as to increase biodiversity in agroecosystems.
biodiversity, defaunation, ecological networks, frugivory, seed dispersal
Rafael da Silveira Bueno, Tommaso La Mantia (2022). Plant-animal seed dispersal interactions as key drivers of ecological restoration in a changing world. In Book of abstracts (pp. 111-111).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/568389
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