Frugivore-Fruit Size Relationships Reveal Past and Future Impact of Defaunation

Event Type: Seminar

Date: 26 January 2021, 13:00 to 15:00

About the Event

The dispersal of seeds by frugivores influences the structure and composition of many ecosystems, but many ecosystems have undergone defaunation (the decline or loss of animal populations) over thousands of years, a process that continues today. Understanding how past defaunation has affected fruit-frugivore interactions will provide insights into how ecosystems may respond to future frugivore loss. However, the degree to which natural ecosystems have responded to past extinctions (i.e., the global loss of megafauna at the end of the Pleistocene) is unclear, and the magnitude of future impact that present-day ecosystems face remains unexplored at the global scale. Here, Dr Lim approach these questions using a macroecological perspective by looking at global patterns of palms and their relationship with mammalian frugivores in the present-day and in the past. Dr Lim also models the impact of future defaunation on palm communities and examine what defaunation may mean for the future for other fleshy-fruited plant groups.

Watch Now

The recorded version of this live webinar is now available for viewing.

About the Speaker

Jun Ying Lim

Jun Ying Lim graduated with a PhD from the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam, working with Daniel Kissling on the ecology and evolution of palms and their interactions with associated frugivores. His research focuses on the intersection between macroevolutionary dynamics, niche evolution, ecological networks and community ecology. He is interested in how large scale geologic and climatic dynamism has shaped the spatial and temporal variation in Earth's biota up to the present day, and how these ecological and evolutionary processes may play out in an era of global change. His current work revolves around the evolutionary and ecological assembly of oceanic island biotas, with a focus on the flora of the Hawaiian archipelago. Find out more at


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