Rhinos and Elephants are actually ‘gardeners’ of tropical forests! These megaherbivores are seed dispersers, a function that is vital to the growth of many plants in spaces with little light and wind.
“In these forests in East Asia, the large diversity of plant species means that there is not enough space for all the trees to germinate and grow. As well as the scarce light, seed dispersion is made more complicated by the lack of wind due to the trees that are up to 90 metres high. Plant life is then limited to seeds dispersed by those animals that eat pulp. They either scatter seeds by dropping their food, regurgitating it or by defecating later on.
… In the case of large seeds, “plants need a large animal capable of eating, transporting and defecating the seeds in good conditions. This is where elephants and rhinoceroses come into play because they can scatter large quantities of seeds thanks to the fact that they slowly digest very little of their food.”
Really proves the point that everything on the planet plays a role that affects other things!
Read the full article here.