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The importance of birds, mammals and reptiles pollinating plants around the world is the subject of a major new study led by the University of Southampton.
In the first global assessment of the importance of vertebrate pollinators to plant reproduction, scientists found that preventing vertebrates – predominantly bats and birds – from visiting flowers to feed can reduce the amount of fruits and/or seeds produced by the plants they feed on by an average of 63 per cent.
In a paper published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment the researchers say that, if you exclude bat pollinators, the result is an average reduction of 83 per cent in fruit/seed production. The figure is around 46 per cent when birds are excluded.