Engineers of the forest

Elephants support many ecosystem functions and processes, shaping the structure, composition and function of their associated ecosystems. In forests, their presence promotes biodiversity and diversifies biocoenoses by increasing habitat mosaics. Elephant pathes through dense forests are used by smaller animals and humans. As important seed dispersal agent elephants defecate high numbers of seeds from several species over long distances and in nutrient rich dung. Seed dispersal is a critical component in of plant life histories and for some tree species elephants seem to be the sole existing disperser.

Elephants are gardener of the forests and their loss causes extensive cascading effects leading to alteration of ecosystem structure and function.