The disappearance of birds threatens plants

A decrease in the number of seed-dispersal mammals and birds is detrimental to plants’ adaptive capacity, according to a new study, according to the MTI.

Not only do we lose the species itself when a bird or species of mammal dies, but also its important ecological function, which is to disperse plant seeds.

He told Agence France-Presse Evan Frick, a fellow at Rice University and a member of the team.

As fewer animal species disseminate seeds, plants are less likely to be able to relocate to a more favorable area of ​​higher temperatures. The study is the first to provide a global estimate of the extent of the phenomenon. The researchers say plants from which animals reproduce their seeds are now 60 percent less likely to keep pace with warming due to the extinction of animal species.

Climate change is altering ecosystems around the world, which means that an environment that is still suitable for plants today may become unfriendly in the coming decades. In regions with wetter and more pleasant temperatures, the plant can survive, but in order to get there, it will have to return to the age of seeds.

About half of the seeds of all plants are spread by animals that eat the fruit. Other plants rely only on the wind.

Michael Roberts / Getty Images

The researchers used data from thousands of related studies, as well as machine learning, to create a global map of mammals and birds that spread in the nuclear field. They compared the current situation to what would have been before human-caused extinctions and habitat loss. The team also assessed which animal was eating which plant’s crop and how far a seed could go. Gaps created for some of the less researched species have been filled by machine learning.

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Surprisingly it was found that the decline in distribution was particularly sharp in the temperate regions of North America, Europe, South America and Australia, although few species were lost. The loss was less in the tropics of South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, but it would increase here if more animals, including the elephant, became extinct.

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