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The giraffe and its food resource in the Serengeti. I. Composition, biomass and production of available browse

The quantification of the browse resource available to giraffe was undertaken as the first stage in the study of the relationship of the giraffe population and its food supply in the Serengeti woodlands. Techniques are described for estimating the seasonal standing crop biomass of available browse and its quarterly rate of production. The conversion of the mature Acacia woodland to a more open regeneration-grassland phase as a result of the combined effects of elephants and fire protection, has substantially increased

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Effects of natural and simulated herbivory on spine lengths of Acacia drepanolobium in Kenya

We present experimental evidence supporting the hypothesis that increased spine length in acacia species is a defense induced by herbivory. Acacia drepanolobium is the dominant tree over large areas of East Africa. Each individual tree is occupied by one of four ant species at our study site. Using two types of electric fences, we have effectively controlled herbivory by megaherbivores (elephants and giraffes) and other large mammalian herbivores at a field site in Laikipia, Kenya since 1995. Mean spine lengths

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Food Consumption and Energy Budgets of the Giraffe

(1) To estimate the efficiency of the foraging strategy described in Pellew (1984), the rates of food intake of adult giraffe in the Serengeti National Park are assessed. Daily energy intakes derived from the diet are compared with estimates of the energy requirements for year-round reproduction. The reproductive performance of giraffe in the Serengeti is discussed in the light of such energy budgets. (2) Giraffe are exerting a major impact upon the development of the Acacia regeneration, removing up to

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