You are in the accessibility menu

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Functional extinction of birds drives rapid evolutionary changes in seed size
  • Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
  • A. C. Red de Biología Evolutiva
  • Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará (UFOPA)
  • Universidade Federal Rural do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
  • Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG)
  • Universidade de São Paulo (USP)
  • CSIC
  • 0036-8075
  • 1095-9203
Local extinctions have cascading effects on ecosystem functions, yet little is known about the potential for the rapid evolutionary change of species in human-modified scenarios. We show that the functional extinction of large-gape seed dispersers in the Brazilian Atlantic forest is associated with the consistent reduction of the seed size of a keystone palm species. Among 22 palm populations, areas deprived of large avian frugivores for several decades present smaller seeds than nondefaunated forests, with negative consequences for palm regeneration. Coalescence and phenotypic selection models indicate that seed size reduction most likely occurred within the past 100 years, associated with human-driven fragmentation. The fast-paced defaunation of large vertebrates is most likely causing unprecedented changes in the evolutionary trajectories and community composition of tropical forests.
Issue Date: 
Science, v. 340, n. 6136, p. 1086-1090, 2013.
Time Duration: 
  • adaptation
  • bird
  • community composition
  • ecosystem function
  • evergreen tree
  • extinction
  • habitat fragmentation
  • phenotype
  • regeneration
  • seed dispersal
  • seed size
  • selection
  • tropical forest
  • Brazil
  • frugivore
  • natural selection
  • nonhuman
  • priority journal
  • species extinction
  • tropical rain forest
  • Animals
  • Arecaceae
  • Biological Evolution
  • Birds
  • Extinction, Biological
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Germination
  • Seeds
  • Trees
  • Atlantic Forest
Access Rights: 
Acesso restrito
Appears in Collections:Artigos, TCCs, Teses e Dissertações da Unesp

There are no files associated with this item.

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.