June cover

Submitted by editor on 27 June 2017.Get the paper!

The cover photo on the June Issue shows a grey-breasted mountain toucan (Andigena hypoglauca), one of the most gorgeous frugivorous birds in the tropical Andes. This toucan species was one of 53 other frugivorous birds that we observed feeding on more than 21 plant species in the Colombian Andes. One of the most striking results of our study was that large birds, such as this toucan, are the most important seed dispersers in these forests as they can disperse both small- and large-seeded plant species. Since we additionally found that seed size was the plant trait that matters most for seedling recruitment, these large birds are indispensable for maintaining diverse tropical forest communities.

Read the full paper by Marcia Muñoz, Martin Schaefer, Katrin Böhning-Gaese and Matthias Schleuning on how plant and animal traits influence the fruit removal and seedling recruitment in this highly diverse ecosystem: “Importance of animal and plant traits for fruit removal and seedling recruitment in a tropical forest”

Photo by Matthias Schleuning