Potential Benefits of Mammalian Herbivores on Insular Systems: The Case of Goats on Mediterranean Islands

Jordi Bartolomé, Bartomeu Seguí

Producció científica: Capítol de llibreCapítolRecercaAvaluat per experts

Resum

Mediterranean islands had long been the home of several mammalian herbivores in pre-human times, which differentiates them from other islands where such fauna was absent until its introduction as domestic species. Man colonized the Mediterranean islands thanks to goats, which was well-adapted to their climate. After several millennia of coexistence its role is generating controversy. Many studies have argued that some Mediterranean islands are suffering from overpopulation, which are seriously threatening landscapes, endemic plants, and reforestation. However, little is known about the ecosystem services they provide, whereby they not only provide food, but also maintain plant heterogeneity and diversity, prevent forest fires, conserve animal genetic heritage, benefit other animal species, and contribute to the maintenance of endemic plant resistance and tolerance to herbivory. The clues that these herbivores offer regarding the structure of pre-human ecosystems, as well as their equivalents after faunistic turnover in human times, is sometimes neglected. The conclusion is not only a call for caution when applying certain actions, such as eradication, but also for recognition of certain ecosystem functions as well as genetic, taxonomic, and social aspects.
Idioma originalEnglish
Títol de la publicacióPotential Benefits of Mammalian Herbivores on Insular Systems: The Case of Goats on Mediterranean Islands
DOIs
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de gen. 2024

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