Enhanced use of beneath-canopy vegetation by grazing ungulates in African savannahs

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dc.contributor.author Treydte, Anna C.
dc.contributor.author Riginos, Corinna
dc.contributor.author Jeltsch, Florian
dc.date.accessioned 2020-03-04T07:22:18Z
dc.date.available 2020-03-04T07:22:18Z
dc.date.issued 2010-12
dc.identifier.uri https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2010.07.003
dc.identifier.uri http://dspace.nm-aist.ac.tz/handle/123456789/594
dc.description This research article published by Elsevier B.V., 2010 en_US
dc.description.abstract The cover of large trees in African savannahs is rapidly declining, mainly due to human land-use practices. Trees improve grass nutrient quality and contribute to species and structural diversity of savannah vegetation. However, the response of herbivores to trees as habitat features is unknown. We quantified the habitat use of wild and domestic ungulates in two eastern and southern African savannahs. We assessed grazing intensities and quantified dung depositions beneath and around canopies of different sized trees. Grasses were eaten and dung was deposited twice as frequently beneath large (ca. 5 m in height) and very large trees (7–10 m) than in open grasslands. Small trees (<2.5 m) did not show this trend. Grazing intensity and dung deposition decreased with distance away from trees at both study sites. These results suggest that large trees represent essential habitat features for domestic and wild herbivores. Increased dung depositions beneath large trees may further promote the maintenance of a patchy nutrient distribution in savannahs. Small trees cannot provide the same structural and functional advantages as large trees do. We recommend that land- use practices be promoted which conserve large single-standing trees to benefit the flora and fauna of African savannahs. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Elsevier B.V. en_US
dc.subject Dung deposition en_US
dc.subject Structural diversity en_US
dc.subject Wild herbivores en_US
dc.subject Tree size en_US
dc.title Enhanced use of beneath-canopy vegetation by grazing ungulates in African savannahs en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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