Thank you gorillas!
The work of Barbara Haurez, a researcher at the Forestry Laboratory of Tropical and Subtropical Regions of Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (University of Liege), shows that western lowland gorilla populations, which might be resilient to the practice of selective deforestation common in Central Africa, play a vital role in seed dispersal both from a quantitative and qualitative point of view. By dropping the majority of ingested seeds in its nest site, the gorilla contributes to the regeneration of certain plant species: liana, herbaceous plants, trees etc. This can only be beneficial for the forest and all the different species that dwell in it (including humans!).
Tracking the gorillas’ nests
It is still necessary to distinguish the beneficial species according to the region in question. For example, the question arises as to whether this phenomenon of seed dispersal could benefit certain species of trees or plants that are intended for human use in the form of food, pharmacopeia products or the timber industry. In the context of the exploitation of central African forests for timber production, it is also interesting to examine the impact of timber harvesting on gorilla populations and, conversely, the impact of the gorillas themselves on forest regeneration following the activities of lumberjacks and loggers.