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Factors influencing seed dispersal, tree recruitment and resource availability for frugivorous primates in South-Bahia: defaunation, matrix connectivity and climate change

The present project proposes to study how forest fragmentation and matrix permeability affect the role of two primate species as seed dispersers, and how defaunation and climate change affect seed dispersal, tree establishment and persistence, and the long-term availability of food resources for these and other frugivorous species in Southern Bahia.  Specific objectives are:
1)      To investigate the permeability of the matrix around small fragments: forms of land use compatible with species movement, fragment characteristics affecting species´ movement (e.g. distance to be crossed, type of land use, presence of stepping stones), and factors affecting mortality of dispersing individuals in the matrix;
2)     To investigate the factors that affect the short-, medium and long-term availability of resources in forest fragments:
a)     functional diversity of the resources available to dispersers in small fragments
b)     effects of climate change on the distribution of key tree species;
c)      diversity of the disperser assembly contributing to maintaining key plant resources for frugivorous species;
d)     impact of defaunation on seed removal and predation, and tree species diversity. 
Date:1 Jan 2014 →  31 Dec 2015