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Woody vegetation change in response to browsing in Ithala Game Reserve, South Africa

The impact of elephant and other browsers may be magnified when they are restricted within small, fenced reserves. These reserves are becoming commonplace in southern Africa. The composition and structure of the woody vegetation of a portion of the 30 000 ha Ithala Game Reserve, South Africa, was monitored annually from 1992 to 2000. Woody species described a continuum from those that declined in abundance and were threatened with extirpation (e.g. Aloe marlothii, Acacia davyi ), through those that remained

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Introduction of giraffe changes acacia distribution in a South African savanna

Large mammal herbivores can have significant effects on the structure and composition of plant communities. We studied the impacts of an introduced giraffe population on Acacia species at the Ithala Game Reserve in South Africa. Browse intensity and Acacia mortality were assessed in field transects, and in road transects covering the reserve road network. Several Acacia species occurring in high density giraffe areas had high levels or mortality. Populations of Acacia davyi were extinct in areas accessible to giraffe. Most

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