Congratulations to Dr. Alberto García-Rodríguez for his excellent doctoral study! Dr. García-Rodríguez has just defended his PhD degree at the Scientific Council of the Institute of Nature Conservation. Dr. García-Rodríguez’s thesis evaluated the role of brown bears as seed dispersers, particularly of the bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus, and in relation to seed dispersal services provided by sympatric birds and mammals in Tatra National Park.
The thesis concluded that brown bears are among the most effective bilberry seed dispersers and that they provide unique and complementary seed dispersal services, even in humanized landscapes. This PhD also contributed to gain understanding into the reproductive “paradox” of the bilberry, which produces huge amounts of fruits consumed by numerous species of frugivores, but still has a predominantly clonal reproduction.