Are modern landscapes driving seed dispersal to the brink of extinction?

Findings published in the journal Biological Conservation suggest habitat fragmentation and climate change are threatening seed dispersal around the globe.

Dr Prasad, who led the international team of scientists, found that factors identified as the main contributors to biodiversity loss, such as habitat fragmentation, invasive species and climate change, were altering seed dispersal patterns.

“If there are species that cannot adapt to the new conditions, then they have to shift their range. However, today, they live in a very fragmented world so the dispersal network has been disrupted by the human-modified landscape”

The study concluded “We recommend that the conservation status of functionally unique dispersers be revised and that the conservation target for key seed dispersers should be a population size that maintains their ecological function, rather than merely the minimum viable population.