Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poachers Also Disrupt Plants

Date:
February 8, 2000
Source:
Society For Conservation Biology
Summary:
Everyone knows that poachers can decimate animals but they can also have considerable effects on plants, according to new research presented in the February issue of Conservation Biology.

Everyone knows that poachers can decimate animals but they can also have considerable effects on plants, according to new research presented in the February issue of Conservation Biology.

"Poachers are nearly ubiquitous in the Neotropics," says Joseph Wright of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Balboa, Panama. "They are reducing the abundance of forest mammals virtually everywhere." Wright and his colleagues reasoned that poachers are probably also affecting forest plants, in part because many of the seeds are dispersed by mammals.

Wright's colleagues are: Roberto Ibanez, also of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Balboa, Panama; Horacio Zeballos of the Prodefensa de la Naturaleza-Arequipa in Miraflores, Peru; and Ivan Dominguez, Marina Gallardo and Marta Moreno of the Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente in Panama.

The researchers studied how poaching affects regeneration of two palm species in central Panama. They studied eight sites with different levels of poaching. They measured seedling abundance, and seed dispersal and predation.

Wright and his colleagues found that poaching reduced the abundance of five of the 12 mammal species encountered regularly at the study sites, including agouti, collared peccari and coati. Overall, the researchers found that poaching increased palm regeneration: seedling density was up to five times higher at heavily poached sites.

However, the effects of poaching on seed dispersal and predation did not uniformly favor palm regeneration. Specifically, poaching reduced seed dispersal: up to 99% of seeds were dispersed from protected sites but only 3% were dispersed from heavily poached sites. Poaching increased beetle predation of dispersed seeds: beetles ate up to 10% of seeds at protected sites and about 40% at poached sites. Poaching decreased rodent predation of dispersed seeds: rodents ate up to 99% at protected sites and only 4% at heavily poached sites.

What does it all mean? "There is no single relation between the reduction of mammal communities and plant regeneration," says Wright. "We can only be certain that poachers will alter the natural pattern of regeneration for many plant species." In other words, there's no easy fix.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society For Conservation Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society For Conservation Biology. "Poachers Also Disrupt Plants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000208074708.htm>.
Society For Conservation Biology. (2000, February 8). Poachers Also Disrupt Plants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000208074708.htm
Society For Conservation Biology. "Poachers Also Disrupt Plants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000208074708.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins