In the end of the Pleistocene, the earth was inhabited by more than 150 genera of megafauna, such as mammoths, giant marsupials, toxodonts and giant sloths. Many researchers are suggesting that the structure and composition of current ecosystems are a glance of the recent megafauna extinction. Many plants with fleshy and big fruits are considered anachronic because they don’t have any present dispersers. In my work, we are generating and analysing a database where we compare the richness of megafaunal fruits in several regions (Africa, Australia, South America, Southeast Asia, Madagascar and Oceania Islands), using an operational definition. Our hypothesis is that if the diversity of frugivores and fleshy plants are interact in space, then the diversity of megafaunal fruits reflects the diversity of the past megafauna (since there were no plant extinctions, we hope that this pattern will be preserved in most places).
Scientific Initiation: “The role of birds on the dispersal of exotic plants in the Atlantic rain forest of Brazil”. CNPQ Fellowship (121327/2014-0).
I am a Biology student at UNESP - Rio Claro - Brazil. I am interested in understanding how invasive species stablish and how they are dispersed.
Interactions between birds and nonnative plants remain poorly understood.
In my undergraduate project, we used data from the Brazilian website WikiAves and asked whether birds are important on the dispersal of invasive plant species in the Atlantic rain forest.