When we think of seed dispersal, fish aren’t generally the first facilitators to come to mind. Or even at all. But new evidence demonstrates that the consumption of fruits by fish in freshwater environments is in fact a widespread phenomenon that has been documented in all biogeographic regions involving more than 275 fish species and numerous plants.
Seed dispersal by fish is not news, but having been thought to be specific to a few species in discrete areas, and therefore has been neglected in the past. Earlier this year characids were shown to carry seeds from over five kilometres away in flooded forests!
The authors of the review article in question highlight the requirement for immediate attention to the threats that affect icthyochory (fish seed dispersal) such as overfishing, damming of rivers, deforestation and logging.
P.S. Icthyochory is a fantastic word.