What is it about?

Forests are not just trees. This is particularly obvious in the tropics where the forest animals are extremely diverse and are responsible for most pollination and seed dispersal, as well as herbivory, and make major contributions to decomposition and nutrient cycling. Carnivores influence these processes through their impacts on their prey. Removal of all or most large vertebrates from a forest (called 'defaunation') has negative impacts on seed dispersal and browsing pressure and is likely to lead to long-term changes in forest composition and in the rate of recovery from disturbance.

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Why is it important?

None of this new, but this book chapter brings together information from many sources in one place.


The book this is in is aimed at foresters, who are perfectly capable of thinking that forests are just trees or, indeed, just timber or paper pulp. This chapter was added to make sure they did not forget about the animals.

Dr. Richard T Corlett
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Ecological Roles of Animals in Tropical Forests, January 2014, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-41554-8_54-1.
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