Elephants and Savanna Woodland Ecosystems: A Study from by Christina Skarpe, Johan T. du Toit, Stein R. Moe

By Christina Skarpe, Johan T. du Toit, Stein R. Moe

During the 19th century, ivory looking brought on a considerable reduce of elephant numbers in southern Africa. quickly after that, populations of many different huge and medium-sized herbivores went into steep decline as a result of rinderpest pandemic within the Eighteen Nineties. those occasions supplied a chance for wooded area institution in components formerly intensively used by elephants and different herbivores. The go back of elephants to at present safe components in their former diversity has significantly motivated crops in the community and the ensuing capability unwanted effects on biodiversity are inflicting obstacle between stakeholders, managers, and scientists.

This publication makes a speciality of the ecological results of the expanding elephant inhabitants in northern Botswana, offering the significance of the elephants for the heterogeneity of the process, and exhibiting that elephant ecology comprises a lot wider spatiotemporal scales than used to be formerly concept. Drawing at the result of their learn, the authors speak about elephant-caused results on crops in nutrient-rich and nutrient-poor savannas, and the aptitude pageant among elephants at the one hand and browsers and combined feeders at the other.

Ultimately this article presents a complete assessment of ecological strategies in African savannas, protecting long term environment adjustments and human-wildlife conflicts. It summarises new wisdom at the ecology of the sub-humid African savanna ecosystems to strengthen the final useful knowing of savanna ecosystems across moisture and nutrient gradients.

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Additional resources for Elephants and Savanna Woodland Ecosystems: A Study from Chobe National Park, Botswana

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1) that supports herbaceous vegetation, palatable woody plants, and ultimately the impressive herbivore biomass of the ecosystem. To summarize, elephants dominate the biomass of large herbivores in northern Botswana just as predicted by Bell (1982) for dystrophic savannas, but not because they consume the abundant low quality woody vegetation of the Kalahari sand woodlands. Rather, they focus their feeding on comparatively fertile patches and zones within the folds of the landscape, where they graze when green grass is available and then selectively browse on fast growing and palatable woody plants in the dry season.

1982) The likelihood of active groundwater recharge in the Botswana Kalahari. Journal of Hydrology 55, 113–136. J. T. (2008) Grazers and browsers in a changing world. J. T. ) The Ecology of Grazing and Browsing. Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 309–322. E. D. (2009) A disease-mediated trophic cascade in the Serengeti and its implications for ecosystem C. PLoS Biology 7(9), e1000210. 1000210. , Kampunzu, H. & Vanderpost, C. (2006) Use of the geochemical and biological sedimentary record in establishing palaeo-environments and climate change in the Lake Ngami basin, NW Botswana.

Savannas are characterised by an often grass dominated field layer vegetation and a more or less prominent woody component. 5 million years. From about this time grasses with C4 photosynthesis are known to have spread in Africa, coincident with rapid speciation among ungulates, including the appearance of the first specialised grazers (Janis, 2008), and a mammalian fauna resembling that of present day African savannas. These savannas today constitute three separate but contiguous regional centres of plant endemism (White, 1983).

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