Writings By Jason Gray

Home » Uncategorized » New study on overhunting and climate change

New study on overhunting and climate change

A call to action on multiple fronts!  A recent article on Mongabay (one of my favorite environmental news services) discusses a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that highlights the importance of seed dispersal of large tree species by large mammals (in particular, large primates and tapirs) and the impact of overhunting of these species on the health of tropical forests in the Amazon.  Of greatest global concern, the study highlights the “long-term biomass collapse” due to this overhunting, and the ecosystem and climate impact such collapse can cause.  Protecting tropical forests and seeking enhanced climate finance to reduce emissions from tropical deforestation and forest degradation is important for conserving biodiversity and indigenous and forest-dependent community livelihoods.  Now, the converse seems true as well – protecting and conserving biodiversity will enhance forest seed dispersal and further reduce climate changing impacts from decreased forest health.  See Peres, C.A., Emilio, T., Schietti, J., Desmoulière, S.J.M., & Taal Levi, T. (2016). Dispersal limitation induces long-term biomass collapse in overhunted Amazonian forests. PNAS. doi:10.1073/pnas.1516525113

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