Amazon's Seeds Spread Best by Fish Poop

March 25, 2011
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As loggers, farmers and builders clear more and more patches of forest, the reproductive efforts of trees in the Amazon rainforest are being helped out by tambaqui, a fruit-eating species of fish.

The tambaqui is one of around 200 known fruit-eating fish species worldwide and forages in the floodplains where rivers swell over their banks for months each year. When rivers in the Amazon Basin flood into surrounding forests and savannas, the tambaqui excretes seeds. In extreme cases, seeds hitchhiking with the fish can land almost more than five kilometers from the mother tree. At least 5 percent of seeds end up around two kilometers from the mother tree.

Read the complete story in Science News.