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Bushmeat hunting changes regeneration of African rainforests.

Author:
  • Edu Efiom
  • Gabriela Nuñez-Iturri
  • Henrik Smith
  • Ulf Ottosson
  • Ola Olsson
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Publication/Series: Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
Volume: 280
Issue: 1759
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Royal Society

Abstract english

To assess ecological consequences of bushmeat hunting in African lowland rainforests, we compared paired sites, with high and low hunting pressure, in three areas of southeastern Nigeria. In hunted sites, populations of important seed dispersers-both small and large primates (including the Cross River gorilla, Gorilla gorilla diehli)-were drastically reduced. Large rodents were more abundant in hunted sites, even though they are hunted. Hunted and protected sites had similar mature tree communities dominated by primate-dispersed species. In protected sites, seedling communities were similar in composition to the mature trees, but in hunted sites species with other dispersal modes dominated among seedlings. Seedlings emerging 1 year after clearing of all vegetation in experimental plots showed a similar pattern to the standing seedlings. This study thus verifies the transforming effects of bushmeat hunting on plant communities of tropical forests and is one of the first studies to do so for the African continent.

Keywords

  • Ecology
  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
  • bushmeat hunting
  • seedling community
  • seed dispersal

Other

Published
  • BECC
  • ISSN: 1471-2954
Henrik Smith
E-mail: henrik.smith [at] biol.lu.se

Professor

Biodiversity

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

E-C313

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Director

Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56

C313

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Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden