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Seasonal utilization of leaves by giraffes Giraffa camelopardalis, and the relationship of the seasonal utilization to the chemical composition of the leaves

Food preferences of giraffe have been extensively investigated but few data concerning the chemical composition of the preferred species are available. The present study was aimed at ascertaining whether the differences in chemical composition of leaves of preferred food plants influence food selection. Furthermore, whether there are differences in the chemical composition of the specific plant species utilized at different localities and to provide information on the nutritive value of indigenous trees. Availability of the 54 preferred plant species studied

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A comparison between Acacia and Combretum leaves utilized by giraffe

Various studies on the food preferences of giraffe indicate that the leaves of the Acacia and Combretum species are the most important food items selected. The present study was aimed at comparing the chemical composition of the leaves and explaining the utilization of both these plant groups by giraffe. The protein content of the leaves of the Acacia species is generally higher than in those of the Combretum species and they are therefore a better source of food.

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Effects of simulated shoot and leaf herbivory on vegetative growth and plant defense in Acacia drepanolobium

Plants have considerable ability to respond to herbivory, both with (above-ground) regrowth and with increased defense. We simulated both leaf and shoot herbivory in controlled, replicated experiments on individuals of Acacia drepanolobium in Laikipia, Kenya. These experiments were carried out on individuals that had experienced different, experimentally controlled histories of large mammalian herbivory. Both forms of simulated herbivory were associated with compensatory regrowth. Branches whose shoots had been removed grew significantly more over the next year than paired control branches,

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