Importance of Plant-Animal Interactions in the Anthropocene in Gabon

I will quantify the effects of changed faunal composition on the recruitment dynamics of Gambeya lacourtiana, a tropical tree in the Makokou region in Gabon. The fruits of G.lacourtiana are not only consumed by a range of mammals, such as elephants, apes, monkeys, wild hogs and duikers, but are also an important non-timber forest product for human use. Working with local Gabonese field technicians, I will use a combination of observational and experimental methods to measure to what degree heavy hunting alters the strength of seed dispersal, seed predation and herbivory. Hence, as a result of this project, I will make recommendations to the Gabon Parks Agency on establishing robust wildlife management rules in the proximity of national parks. 

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