Scientists from Lund University in Sweden have found that the presence of large numbers of elephants, rhinoceroses, moose and other large herbivores contributes to the diversity of trees in forests. This is stated in an article published in the magazine One Earth.
The researchers noted that in the places where these animals live, trees are not only more diverse, but also create more favorable conditions for the life of other species. “This discovery sheds light on the role of large herbivores in shaping terrestrial ecosystems. In regions where they are present, we see not only lower forest densities, but also higher forest biodiversity,” said Lanhui Wang, lead author of the study.
The results of the work highlight the importance of including large herbivores in plans for the protection and restoration of natural areas. The researchers point out that these animals are not just important in their own right, but also play a key role in maintaining ecological balance and biodiversity.
Achieving UN goals of rehabilitating lost natural areas of up to 100,000 km² may require expanding wild herbivore populations. This will not only ensure the conservation of species, but also promote the health of ecosystems as a whole.