The integrity of ecological interactions, such as pollination and seed dispersal,
has been recognized as important for long-term conservation of biodiversity
(Asquith et al. 1999, Buchmann & Nabhan 1997, Howe 1984, Pizo 1997). This
is illustrated by the fact that the loss of large-bodied animals like birds and
mammals after habitat fragmentation can result in population changes or even
extinction of many plant species (Silva & Tabarelli 2000). In the absence of
primary seed dispersers (vertebrates), the importance of invertebrates such as
ants, that can carry or clean seeds, probably increases.