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 September 18, 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 September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
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