SP8 – UpScaleR

UpScaleR is a recent add-on to Reassembly. UpScaleR aims at understanding the dynamics of natural forest recovery from agriculture and degraded land, comparisons with active tree plantations and the contribution of frugivorous vertebrates to tree dispersal. The research will be conducted in and around the Buenaventura Forest Reserve in southwestern Ecuador run by Fundación Jocotoco. The reserve successfully restores and protects a unique tropical forest in the western foothills of the Andes and is home to a particularly diverse flora and fauna including many endemic species. We will study the seed dispersal of tree communities by birds and/or mammals (plant-frugivore networks) in formerly deforested areas, focusing on seedlings, fruit traits and fruit-dispersing animals (especially birds, potentially bats and other mammals). We aim to compare tree and forest recovery across sites with different degrees of forest cover in the surrounding, and aim to unravel the importance of dispersal limitation and the forest matrix for recovery success. This involves monitoring and identification of trees, seedlings, and birds or possibly bats or other mammals.
UpScaleR is funded by a grant from the Foundation UniScientia to the Technical University of Darmstadt (TUDa).