Mauro Galetti

Mauro Galetti
São Paulo State University | Unesp · Biodiversity

Dr.
What is the ecological role of large mammals and birds in tropical forests?

About

375
Publications
265,093
Reads
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20,468
Citations
Introduction
I am a field ecologist interested in understanding how the ecology and evolution of the species are changing in the Anthropocene. My particular study systems are frugivores (fish, birds, mammals) and fleshy fruits. Using experimental approach or just observational, I am investigating the consequences of defaunation in tropical ecosystem processes.
Additional affiliations
August 2016 - December 2016
Aarhus University
Position
  • Professor
August 2007 - March 2009
Stanford University
Position
  • Visting Professor
August 1998 - present
São Paulo State University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
September 1992 - December 1996

Publications

Publications (375)
Article
Full-text available
Carbon storage is widely acknowledged as one of the most valuable forest ecosystem services. Deforestation, logging, fragmentation, fire, and climate change have significant effects on tropical carbon stocks; however, an elusive and yet undetected decrease in carbon storage may be due to defaunation of large seed dispersers. Many large tropical tre...
Article
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We live amid a global wave of anthropogenically driven biodiversity loss: species and population extirpations and, critically, declines in local species abundance. Particularly, human impacts on animal biodiversity are an under-recognized form of global environmental change. Among terrestrial vertebrates, 322 species have become extinct since 1500,...
Article
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Local extinctions have cascading effects on ecosystem functions, yet little is known about the potential for the rapid evolutionary change of species in human-modified scenarios. We show that the functional extinction of large-gape seed dispersers in the Brazilian Atlantic forest is associated with the consistent reduction of the seed size of a key...
Article
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Large wild herbivores are crucial to ecosystems and human societies. We highlight the 74 largest terrestrial herbi-vore species on Earth (body mass > – 100 kg), the threats they face, their important and often overlooked ecosystem effects, and the conservation efforts needed to save them and their predators from extinction. Large herbivores are gen...
Article
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Seed dispersal by frugivores is essential in plant life cycles, with birds and mammals the principal and well-studied dispersal agents. However, there is an increasing recognition that terrestrial tortoises could also be considered important seed dispersers in many ecosystems. The red-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaria) is one of the largest t...
Article
Mammals are charismatic organisms that play a fundamental role in ecological functions and ecosystem services, such as pollination, seed dispersal, nutrient cycling, and pest control. The state of São Paulo represents only 3% of the Brazilian territory but holds 33% of its mammalian diversity. Most of its territory is dominated by agriculture, past...
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Morphological attributes are important in determining the success of ecological interactions, such as the interactions between fleshy fruited plants and their seed dispersers. Morphological traits can present high levels of intraspecific variation both within and across populations. Such variation will not only mediate which interactions can be est...
Article
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Many angiosperms rely on vertebrates for seed dispersal via gut passage, an interaction that has been traditionally classified as a mutualism. The seed dispersal effectiveness (SDE) framework provides a mechanistic approach to evaluate evolutionary and ecological characteristics of animal‐mediated seed dispersal, by synthesising the quantity and th...
Article
Forest corridor has been considered the main strategy for maintaining gene flow between isolated populations, yet their effectivity is poorly tested. Assessing signatures of genetic variation loss, gene flow reduction and inbreeding may be helpful for conservation of the biodiversity that needs large continuous areas. Here we evaluated the genetic...
Article
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Aim Many plants rely on interactions with frugivores for dispersal, suggesting that animal communities may affect plant occupancy and diversity. However, the contribution of these interaction‐led biotic variables on plant diversity is poorly understood, especially in archipelagic hotspots such as the Caribbean. In island ecosystems, biogeographic t...
Article
Humans have reshaped the distribution of biodiversity across the globe, extirpating species from regions otherwise suitable and restricting populations to a subset of their original ranges. Here, we ask if anthropogenic range contractions since the Late Pleistocene led to an under‐representation of the realized niches for megafauna, an emblematic g...
Article
Conservation decision is a challenging and risky task when it aims at prioritizing species or protected areas (PAs) to prevent extinction while ensuring fair treatment of all stakeholders. Better conservation decisions are those made upon a broader evidence base that includes both ecological and social considerations. However, in some of the most b...
Article
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1. The world’s terrestrial biomes are broadly classified according to the dominant plant growth forms that define ecosystem structure and processes. Although the abundance and distribution of different plant growth forms can be strongly determined by factors such as climate and soil composition, large mammalian herbivores have a strong impact on pl...
Article
Disentangling the structure of plant–animal mutualisms shed light on how species are organized, and allow us to infer about resilience, specificity, and ultimately the consequences of the loss of functions to the ecosystem. Here we gathered fruit–frugivore interactions for all the major vertebrate taxa interacting with plants in two conservation st...
Article
A classic question in community ecology is how species coexist within a community. Studies have sought to understand how species occurrence vary according to habitat structure, space, food, predators, and competitors. Small mammals are widely used as a model system in community ecology, since they represent the most diverse group of mammals in the...
Article
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How species persist in fragmented habitats is essential to understanding species resilience in response to increasing anthropogenic pressures. It has been suggested that expansion in dietary niche allows populations to persist in human-modified landscapes, yet this hypothesis has been poorly tested in highly diverse ecosystems such as tropical fore...
Article
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How species interactions change in space and time is a major question in ecology. In tropical forests, plant individuals share mutualistic partners (pollinators or seed dispersers), yet we have little understanding of the factors affecting these individual interaction patterns. We used a seed dispersal individual-based network describing interactio...
Article
Seed dispersal is an ecosystem service strongly affected by the loss of mutualist dispersers, with economic consequences in terms of carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation policies. Especially, large frugivores are important contributors to carbon sequestration because they are the main disperser of large-seeded trees, which store a hig...
Article
Flowering plant species and their nectar‐feeding vertebrates exemplify some of the most remarkable biotic interactions in the Neotropics. In the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, several species of birds (especially hummingbirds), bats and non‐flying mammals as well as one lizard feed on nectar, often acting as pollinators and contributing to seed output...
Article
Rodents are ubiquitous seed predators in nature and their size-related seed choice plays an important role in the plant’s community structure. However, to understand how size-related seed predation by rodents affects plant recruitment, it is fundamental to predict seeds and seedling response to rodent predation. We assessed the interactive effects...
Article
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Most earth surfaces have undergone intensive land-use changes, creating habitat mosaics. Seed dispersal by animals is a crucial process in such mosaics, but community-wide studies comparing the functional complementarity and response to man-imposed habitat heterogeneity are rare. Here, we investigate the trophic and spatial seed dispersal networks...
Article
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Top-down control by large herbivores is a well-known driver of plant diversity structure and productivity. Yet, for forest ecosystems the sign and magnitude of herbivore control across resource gradients is not well understood. We conducted a series of replicated large herbivore exclusion experiments in defaunated and non-defaunated Atlantic forest...
Preprint
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Species interactions can propagate disturbances across space, though ecological and biogeographic boundaries may limit this spread. We tested whether large-scale ecological boundaries (ecoregions and biomes) and human disturbance gradients increase dissimilarity among ecological networks, while accounting for background spatial and elevational effe...
Article
Understanding the mechanisms by which alien species become invasive can assure successful control programs and mitigate alien species’ impacts. The distribution of invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa) has been sharply expanding throughout all regions of Brazil in the last few years. Here we demonstrate that large monocultural plantations provide the pri...
Article
Wild boar (Sus scrofa) is one of the most damaging invasive species in the world and can have a profound impact on the distribution of native species. Nevertheless, there still are limitations on the species’ current fine-scale spatial information, which is needed to develop effective management measures. Here, we used Species Distribution Models (...
Article
• The action of biological reworking of soils is referred to as bioturbation, and many species of mammals globally have an important role in soil disturbance, modifying ecosystem characteristics. • We examined global patterns in the distribution, conservation status, and threats to the world’s bioturbator mammals and illustrated the relevant roles...
Article
en • Mammalian carnivores (order Carnivora) perform important regulatory functions in terrestrial food webs. Building a comprehensive knowledge of the dietary patterns of carnivorans and the factors determining such patterns is essential for improving our understanding of the role of carnivorans in ecosystem functioning. • In the Neotropics, there...
Article
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Forecasting the effects of global change on biodiversity is necessary to anticipate the threats operating at different scales in space and time. Climate change may create unsuitable environmental conditions, forcing species to move to persist. However, land-use changes create barriers that limit the access of some species to future available habita...
Preprint
Forecasting the effects of global change on biodiversity is necessary to anticipate the threats operating at different scales in space and time. Climate change may create unsuitable environmental conditions, forcing species to move to persist. However, land-use changes create barriers that limit the access of some species to future available habita...
Article
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The knowledge of the diversity, richness, and distribution of tropical organisms are poorly understood, and a plethora of new species are still being described even among groups considered well-known. As a result, this inadequate knowledge of the biodiversity has hampered the species’ conservation. Thus, sampling efforts must be urgently optimized...
Article
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Invasive species can significantly affect native species when their niches are similar. Ecological and morphological similarities between the invasive Australian palm, Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, and the native palm from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, Euterpe edulis, suggest that they have similar environmental requirements and functional roles...
Article
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Land-use changes are a main driver of modifications in tropical ecosystems, leading to the loss of species and ecological traits and affecting key ecological functions. Although much attention has been given to predict the effects of species loss on ecological processes, information on the large-scale effects of land-use changes over ecological fun...
Article
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Changes in animal population dynamics and community composition following species (re)introduction may have unanticipated consequences for a variety of downstream ecosystem processes, including infectious disease transmission. Due the lessons learned from ongoing projects, we present a novel approach on how to anticipate, monitor, and mitigate the...
Article
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Dispersal is a critical ecological process that modulates gene flow and contributes to the maintenance of genetic and taxonomic diversity within ecosystems. Despite an increasing global understanding of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal diversity, distribution and prevalence in different biomes, we have largely ignored the main dispersal mecha...
Article
Aim Global changes will redistribute biodiversity, reshaping ecological interactions and ecosystem processes. The decoupling in the distribution of plants and their mutualistic seed dispersers, for instance, may have overlooked eco‐evolutionary effects. How animal‐dispersed plants will respond to changes in the distribution of their seed dispersers...
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Chapter
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The Atlantic Forest of South America hosts one of the world’s most diverse and threatened tropical forest biota. After five centuries of European human expansion, most Atlantic Forest landscapes are archipelagos of small forest fragments surrounded by open-habitat matrices. In this chapter, we describe the causes and consequences of large-scale def...
Article
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Tropical forests play a critical role in the global nitrogen cycle. These forests are populated by many animals that feed mostly on fruits, including some of the largest mammals such as tapirs and peccaries. Now a new study in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil has found that these so called “large frugivores” and their hyperdominant fruiting resources...
Preprint
Nowadays, restoration project might lead to increased public engagement and enthusiasm for biodiversity and is receiving increased media attention in major newspapers, TED talks and the scientific literature. However, empirical research on restoration project is rare, fragmented, and geographically biased and long-term studies that monitor indirect...
Article
en Large mammalian herbivores play an important role in shaping the diversity of tropical forests by affecting the survival of seedlings and saplings beneath parent plants. The white‐lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) accounts for the largest herbivore biomass that controls seed and seedling survival in Neotropical ecosystems. However, hunting and hab...
Article
Humans have fragmented, reduced, or altered the biodiversity in tropical forests around the world. Climate and land‐use change act synergistically, increasing drought and fire frequencies, converting several tropical rainforests into derived savannas, a phenomenon known as ‘savannization’. Yet, we lack a full understanding of the faunal changes in...
Article
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The proliferation of native, alien, invasive and domestic species offers enough novel and abundant food resources for the common vampire bat, Desmodus rotundus, to potentially alter preferences for prey. By reference to a stable-isotope analysis for carbon and nitrogen, we report here on the choices of introduced mammal prey made by D. rotundus res...
Article
In tropical forests, the diets of many frugivorous mammals overlap, yet how hyper-diverse assemblages of consumers exploit resources and coexist remains poorly understood. We evaluated competitive interactions among three species of terrestrial frugivorous mammals, the ungulate Tayassu pecari (white-lipped peccary), its close relative Pecari tajacu...
Article
Full-text available
Mammalian spatial and temporal activity patterns can vary depending on foraging behavior or the perception of predation or competition risk among species. These behaviors may in turn be altered by human influences such as defaunation. Herein, we evaluate whether frugivores avoid areas with high visitation rates by potential predators or competitors...
Article
Full-text available
The local, global or functional extinction of species or populations of animals, known as defaunation, can erode important ecological services in tropical forests. Many mutualistic interactions, such as seed dispersal of large seeded plants, can be lost in large continuous forests due to the rarity of large-bodied mammalian frugivores. Most of stud...
Article
Full-text available
In tropical forests, the diets of many frugivorous mammals overlap, yet how hyper-diverse assemblages of consumers exploit resources and coexist remains poorly understood. We evaluated competitive interactions among three species of terrestrial frugivorous mammals, the ungulate Tayassu pecari (white-lipped peccary), its close relative Pecari tajacu...
Preprint
The proliferation of native, alien, invasive and domestic species provide novel and abundant food resources for the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) that could alter its prey preference. Based on the analysis of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes, we report the prey choice of D. rotundus on introduced mammals in an tropical land-bridge islan...
Article
Full-text available
The Late Quaternary extinctions of megafauna (defined as animal species > 44.5 kg) reduced the dispersal of seeds and nutrients, and likely also microbes and parasites. Here we use body‐mass based scaling and range maps for extinct and extant mammal species to show that these extinctions led to an almost seven‐fold reduction in the movement of gut‐...
Article
Full-text available
Concern for megafauna is increasing among scientists and non-scientists. Many studies have emphasized that megafauna play prominent ecological roles and provide important ecosystem services to humanity. But, what precisely are ‘megafauna’? Here, we critically assess the concept of megafauna and propose a goal-oriented framework for megafaunal resea...
Article
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Vegetation natural regeneration after agricultural abandonment is changing the landscape patterns in many areas worldwide. However, the expansion rate, spatio-temporal dynamics, and the role of past vegetation cover in shaping such patterns are still barely quantified in fine and meso scales. Here, we aim to quantify the expansion rate and assess t...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Forest fragmentation is among the principal causes of global biodiversity loss, yet how it affects mutualistic interactions between plants and animals at large spatial scale is poorly understood. In particular, tropical forest regeneration depends on animal‐mediated seed dispersal, but the seed‐dispersing animals face rapid decline due to fores...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Late Quaternary extinctions of megafauna (defined as animal species >44.5 kg) reduced the dispersal of seeds and nutrients, and likely also microbes and parasites. Here we use body-mass based scaling and range maps for extinct and extant mammal species to show that these extinctions led to an almost seven-fold reduction in the movement of gut-t...
Preprint
Defaunation is considered one of the main drivers of modifications in tropical ecosystems, extirpating many large-sized vertebrates, which in turn compromises key ecological functions. Although much attention has been given to predict the effects of species loss on ecological processes, there is a lack of information on the large-scale effects of d...
Article
Full-text available
Seed dispersal interactions involve key ecological processes in tropical forests that help to maintain ecosystem functioning. Yet this functionality may be threatened by increasing habitat loss, defaunation, and fragmentation. However, generalist species, and their interactions, can benefit from the habitat change caused by human disturbance while...