Amazon Biodiversity Teaser #3 – Answer

Question: Which type of animal could have an ecological impact on the abundance and diversity of the Amazon rain forest?

Answer Choices: A) Fish B) Snakes C) Frogs D) Butterflies









Correct Answer: A) Fish

Summary: Seed dispersers are crucial players in any forest ecosystem. Seed dispersal studies have traditionally focused on species of birds, bats, monkeys and rodents, but a new study by Jill T. Anderson of Duke University suggests that there could be a correlation between the populations of large fruit-eating Amazonian fish and the abundance and diversity of certain tree species in the Amazon rain forest. The fish involved in the study are the tambaqui and the pirapitinga (photo), both known as pacu fish, are massive fruit-eating fish that live in the Amazon River and its tributaries. The tambaqui have an average weight of about 33 pounds and the much larger pirapitinga are an average of 200 pounds each. These fish are classified as long-distance dispersers. They eat the seeds of trees that drop into the water and later drop them in a new place along the river. These fish are being overexploited by local fisherman and in turn the species are dropping in population. Dr. Anderson explains that a drop in these species’ populations could result in less abundance and diversity in the Amazon rain forest.

Source: FAO Non-Wood News 23rd Edition; Giant fish help the Amazon rain forest grow; November 2011; http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/i2455e/i2455e00.htm

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One response to “Amazon Biodiversity Teaser #3 – Answer

  1. Pingback: Amazon Biodiversity Teaser #3 – What type of animal could have an impact on the diversity of the Amazon rain forest? | Center for Amazon Community Ecology

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