New studies link carbon loss to over-hunting


Think about how Latin America contributes to climate change and well-known problems such as deforestation and urban traffic congestion probably come to mind. Two recent studies spotlight another, seemingly less likely one: over-hunting in the rainforest. The studies, the first to link climate change to depletion of tropical forest fauna, find that the carbon-storage ability of tropical woodlands decreases when large, fruit-eating mammals including monkeys and tapirs, are hunted to excess. That’s because by depositing seed in different locations as it passes through their digestive tracks, these frugivores play a vital role in dispersing large-seeded, fruit-bearing trees associated with high wood density. When over-hunting disrupts such seed dispersal, these slow-growing hardwood trees are gradually replaced by fast... [Log in to read more]

Would you like to Subscribe?