Plant-animal interactions in forest fragments

Photo: Robert Timmers

This project addresses the complex interactions between plants and animals that enable ecosystem functioning and the provisioning of ecosystem services. 

Forest recovery in the São Paulo Atlantic forest region is leading to an increase of secondary forests. The project will quantify to what extent landscape connectivity affects restoration outcomes in terms of functional plant-frugivore relationships and cascading effects on carbon storage, population-level tree recruitment and genetic diversity and biodiversity conservation value in novel communities. It will identify priority areas within the Atlantic forest region that are most suitable for natural regeneration, and develop restoration guidelines to promote plant-frugivore interactions that enhance biodiversity and carbon sequestration where needed.

The project is carried out by Robert Timmers MSc in collaboration with the Department of Ecology and Department of Zoology, São Paulo State University, the Department of Animal Biology, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, the Prince Bernhard Chair for International Nature Conservation, Utrecht University, and the Ecosystem Management Group, ETH Zurich.