All Publications


  • Why we should let rewilding be wild and biodiverse BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION Genes, L., Svenning, J., Pires, A. S., Fernandez, F. S. 2019; 28 (5): 1285–89
  • Effects of howler monkey reintroduction on ecological interactions and processes CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Genes, L., Fernandez, F. S., Vaz-de-Mello, F. Z., da Rosa, P., Fernandez, E., Pires, A. S. 2019; 33 (1): 88–98

    Abstract

    Rewilding has been an increasingly popular tool to restore plant-animal interactions and ecological processes impaired by defaunation. However, the reestablishment of such processes has seldom been assessed. We investigated the restoration of ecological interactions following the reintroduction of the brown howler monkey (Alouatta guariba) to a defaunated Atlantic forest site. We expected the reintroduction to restore plant-animal interactions and interactions between howlers and dung beetles, which promote secondary seed dispersal. We estimated the number of interactions expected to be restored by the reintroduction to provide the baseline interaction richness that could be restored. We followed the reintroduced howler monkeys twice a week for 24 months (337 hours total) to assess their diet. We used howler monkey dung in secondary seed dispersal experiments with 2484 seed mimics to estimate the removal rates by dung beetles and collected the beetles to assess community attributes. We compared the potential future contribution of howler monkeys and other frugivores to seed dispersal based on the seed sizes they disperse in other areas where they occur. In 2 years, howler monkeys consumed 60 animal-dispersed plant species out of the 330 estimated. Twenty-one dung beetle species were attracted to experimentally provided dung; most of them were tunnelers, nocturnal, and large-sized (>10 mm). On average 30% (range 0-100%) of the large seed mimics (14 mm) were moved by dung beetles. About 91% of the species consumed by howlers (size range 0.3-34.3 mm) overlapped in seed size with those removed by dung beetles. In our study area, howler monkeys may consume more large-seeded fruit species than most other frugivores, highlighting their potential to affect forest regeneration. Our results show reintroductions may effectively restore ecological links and enhance ecological processes.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cobi.13188

    View details for Web of Science ID 000455121500010

    View details for PubMedID 29998590

  • Introducing rewilding to restoration to expand the conservation effort: a response to Hayward et al. Biodiversity and Conservation Anderson, R. M., Buitenwerf, R., Driessen, C., Genes, L., Lorimer, J., Svenning, J. 2019
  • Estimating interaction credit for trophic rewilding in tropical forests PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES Marjakangas, E., Genes, L., Pires, M. M., Fernandez, F. S., de Lima, R. F., de Oliveira, A. A., Ovaskainen, O., Pires, A. S., Prado, P., Galetti, M. 2018; 373 (1761)

    Abstract

    Trophic rewilding has been suggested as a restoration tool to restore ecological interactions and reverse defaunation and its cascading effects on ecosystem functioning. One of the ecological processes that has been jeopardized by defaunation is animal-mediated seed dispersal. Here, we propose an approach that combines joint species distribution models with occurrence data and species interaction records to quantify the potential to restore seed-dispersal interactions through rewilding and apply it to the Atlantic Forest, a global biodiversity hotspot. Using this approach, we identify areas that should benefit the most from trophic rewilding and candidate species that could contribute to cash the credit of seed-dispersal interactions in a given site. We found that sites within large fragments bearing a great diversity of trees may have about 20 times as many interactions to be cashed through rewilding as small fragments in regions where deforestation has been pervasive. We also ranked mammal and bird species according to their potential to restore seed-dispersal interactions if reintroduced while considering the biome as a whole and at finer scales. The suggested approach can aid future conservation efforts in rewilding projects in defaunated tropical rainforests.This article is part of the theme issue 'Trophic rewilding: consequences for ecosystems under global change'.

    View details for DOI 10.1098/rstb.2017.0435

    View details for Web of Science ID 000449344900004

    View details for PubMedID 30348879

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6231069

  • Rewilding the Atlantic Forest: Restoring the fauna and ecological interactions of a protected area PERSPECTIVES IN ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION Fernandez, F. S., Rheingantz, M. L., Genes, L., Kenup, C. F., Galliez, M., Cezimbra, T., Cid, B., Macedo, L., Araujo, B. A., Moraes, B. S., Monjeau, A., Pires, A. S. 2017; 15 (4): 308–14
  • Credit of ecological interactions: A new conceptual framework to support conservation in a defaunated world ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION Genes, L., Cid, B., Fernandez, F. S., Pires, A. S. 2017; 7 (6): 1892–97

    Abstract

    As defaunation spreads through the world, there is an urgent need for restoring ecological interactions, thus assuring ecosystem processes. Here, we define the new concept of credit of ecological interactions, as the number of interactions that can be restored in a focal area by species colonization or reintroduction. We also define rewiring time, as the time span until all the links that build the credit of ecological interactions of a focal area have become functional again. We expect that the credit will be gradually cashed following refaunation in rates that are proportional to (1) the abundance of the reintroduced species (that is expected to increase in time since release), (2) the abundance of the local species that interact with them, and (3) the traits of reintroduced species. We illustrated this approach using a theoretical model and an empirical case study where the credit of ecological interactions was estimated. This new conceptual framework is useful for setting reintroduction priorities and for evaluating the success of conservation initiatives that aim to restore ecosystem services.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/ece3.2746

    View details for Web of Science ID 000397458000020

    View details for PubMedID 28331596

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5355187