Fish frugivory in neotropical wetlands: past, present and future of a unique interaction
Frugivory is a widespread feeding habit among fishes particularly in tropical wetlands of South America. This ancient interaction evolved nearly 70 Mya and has likely contributed to shaping plant communities in Neotropical wetlands. After nearly four decades of research, we are just starting to understand the mechanisms that influence fish frugivory and seed dispersal. Today, the persistence of the unique interaction between fishes and forests is threatened by changes in land use and global climate. Here, I highlight some of the major knowledge gaps in our understanding of fish frugivory, summarize current threats to fish-forest interactions, and discuss management strategies for floodplain forests and fisheries, including the adoption of The Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) proposed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Here, I summarize each EAF component and offer insights on its implementation in the context of South American floodplain fisheries.