Consequences of bushmeat hunting in tropical forests
Research output: Thesis › Doctoral Thesis (compilation)
This thesis evaluates the effect of bushmeat hunting in southeastern Nigerian rainforests on: 1) adult tree, seedling, and animal community compositions 2) germination and survival among seedlings in association with competition 3) changes in community composition at multiple trophic levels 4) leaf nitrogen concentration (LNC), leaf mass per area (LMA) and stem specific density (SSD) 5) on human reliance on forest resources and rural people use forest resources. Data for the first four evaluations were obtained from surveys, manipulative experiments in seedling plots and collected leaf samples in three pairs of sites with high (hunted sites) and low (protected sites) hunting pressure but with similar adult tree composition. Primate dispersed species dominated in paired sites. Results showed that primates (4-180 kg) were much rarer in hunted sites, while seed predators increased in abundance with hunting. Community composition of birds was similar in paired sites. Seedlings and adult tree composition were similar in protected sites. Abiotically dispersed species dominated in hunted sites and had a higher germination rate only in hunted sites. Seedling communities were significantly related to mammal communities. LNC and SSD increased with hunting but not LMA. Data from questionnaires administered in four villages in and around the Cross River National Park revealed an overwhelming reliance by households on forest resources for sustenance. Contrary to prevailing knowledge, the collection of food resources was the most widespread form of resource extraction and not bushmeat. More primate dispersed trees have utility for human compared to trees with other dispersal modes. Our results reveal a minimal effect of competition among seedlings compared to trees rather that dispersal limitation and altered mammal community composition triggered by the decline of efficient seed dispersing vertebrates majorly mediate changes in seedling communities and that these changes are largely detrimental to forest conservation and human wellbeing.
|Research areas and keywords||
Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY
|Award date||2013 Mar 1|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
Defence details Date: 2013-03-01 Time: 13:30 Place: Blue Hall, Ecology Building, 37 Sölvegatan, 223 62 Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Lambert, Joanna Title: Professor Affiliation: University of Texas, san Antonio ---