Woodland loss and restoration in a savanna park: a 20-year experiment

Woodland loss is a major cause of biodiversity decline in African savanna parks. Decisions about whether remedial steps are possible and warranted depend on the cause. Climate, fire, elephants and human impact, often in combination, have been cited as major causes. The almost complete extinction of woodland in Amboseli National Park since 1950 has been […]

DNA metabarcoding illuminates dietary niche partitioning by African large herbivores

Niche partitioning facilitates species coexistence in a world of limited resources, thereby enriching biodiversity. For decades, biologists have sought to understand how diverse assemblages of large mammalian herbivores (LMH) partition food resources. Several complementary mechanisms have been identified, including differential consumption of grasses versus nongrasses and spatiotemporal stratification in use of different parts of the […]

Delayed effects of fire on habitat use by large herbivores in Acacia drepanolobium savanna

Fire is frequently used as a wildlife management tool in savanna habitats (Trollope, 1982). Burning stimulates sprouting of plants (Vesey-Fitzgerald, 1971), improving forage quality (Komarek, 1967; Dorgeloh, 1999). Several studies have supported quantitatively what has been well known by managers for some time, namely that ungulates are attracted by resprouting vegetation in recently burned areas […]

Vegetation factors influencing density and distribution of wild large herbivores in a southern African savannah

Understanding factors influencing large herbivore densities and distribution in terrestrial ecosystems is a fundamental goal of ecology. This study examined environmental factors influencing the density and distribution of wild large herbivores in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe. Vegetation and surface water were predicted to have a stronger influence than anthropogenic-related disturbances (livestock grazing, fires, settlements and […]

Community-level interactions between ungulate browsers and woody plants in an African savanna dominated by palatable-spinescent Acacia trees

We studied the composition of a savanna woody plant community across a natural herbivory gradient maintained by both browsing and grazing ungulates in an arid part of the Kruger National Park, South Africa. We focused on (1) short-term browsing effects on reproductive and morphological traits of a dominant-palatable woody species, Acacia nigrescens, Miller, (2) the […]