6/03/2013

Decline of Rainforest Linked to Seed Shortage

The destruction of tropical rainforests is having an even greater impact on the environment than was previously thought, a study suggests.

Scientists have found that deforestation in Brazil is causing trees to produce smaller, weaker seeds that are less likely to regenerate.

They believe this has been triggered by the loss of large birds from the forests, which have beaks big enough to feed on and disperse the seeds.

Pedro Jordano, from the Donana Biological Station in Seville, Spain, said: "One of our major surprises was how rapidly deforestation could not only be influencing the disappearance of the fauna, but to observe how deforestation could influence the evolution of the plant traits so rapidly - within a few generations."....more at BBC