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AB Intro Part 2

Submitted by malberigi on Mon, 04/23/2018 - 20:42

Swaths of the Amazon rainforest have fallen victim to slash-and-burn agriculture where felled forest land is used to grow subsistence crops.  When these farm plots are abandoned, the land will eventually return to forest but the regrowth process can take 200 years (Wilson, 1988). The agricultural practices of cutting, burning, and weeding largely eliminate mechanisms of on site regeneration making it more difficult to regrow woody pioneer species (Pedlowski, 1997).  Seed dispersal has been suggested as a mechanism of facilitating forest regeneration. However, the dependence on seed dispersal slows succession because many of the animal species that routinely disperse seeds, such as avian frugivores, do not frequent large forest openings. This tendency to forage away from large openings is due to both a lack of food sources, and a lack of cover from potential predators (Wilson, 1988).  In order to attract seed-dispersing birds, we propose to identify and plant indigenous fruit bearing plant species to facilitate visitations to clearings caused by slash-and-burn agriculture.