While most of our work have been in the tropical ecosystems of Madagascar, we have also been conducting research in other systems, such as in the heterogeneous landscapes of South Dakota.
Animal-mediated seed dispersal in the Great Plains of South Dakota
We started a pilot study to investigate various aspects of seed dispersal by animals in South Dakota, with a focus on tree/shrub communities, We carried out this project at Oak Lake Field Station in South Dakota and included exploring diversity of seed dispersers and microorganisms in seeds and fruits for the plants in the area.
Some of the footages of our camera traps during this project have been used by Mongabay in their Candid Animal Cam educational project. Video here.
Biodiversity and human usage of parks across State Parks and Recreation Areas in South Dakota
Protected Areas (PA), such as State Parks and Recreation Areas, are designed not only to preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services but also to provide important recreational and cultural values. Thus, during their visits, park visitors often appreciate several elements of structural diversity that includes biotic features (e.g., diverse ecosystems, charismatic animal species), abiotic site conditions (e.g., scenic view, waterfall, natural ponds) and infrastructure(e.g., hiking trails, historic landmarks). Therefore, an increased understanding of the relationships between various aspects of these diversity elements and human usage of the PA (e.g., camping, fishing) could provide important insights for effective management to improve visitor experience. This project will address this by focusing on the 63 State Parks and Recreation Areas managed by South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks.
Dr. Razafindratsima has received a grant support from South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks to conduct this research.