Seasonal variation in the relative dominance of herbivore guilds in an African savanna

Davies, Andrew B., van Rensburg, Berndt J., Robertson, Mark P., Levick, Shaun R., Asner, Gregory P. and Parr, Catherine L. (2016) Seasonal variation in the relative dominance of herbivore guilds in an African savanna. Ecology, 97 6: 1618-1624. doi:10.1890/15-1905.1

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Author Davies, Andrew B.
van Rensburg, Berndt J.
Robertson, Mark P.
Levick, Shaun R.
Asner, Gregory P.
Parr, Catherine L.
Title Seasonal variation in the relative dominance of herbivore guilds in an African savanna
Journal name Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0012-9658
Publication date 2016-06-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1890/15-1905.1
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 97
Issue 6
Start page 1618
End page 1624
Total pages 7
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract African savannas are highly seasonal with a diverse array of both mammalian and invertebrate herbivores, yet herbivory studies have focused almost exclusively on mammals. We conducted a 2-yr exclosure experiment in South Africa's Kruger National Park to measure the relative impact of these two groups of herbivores on grass removal at both highly productive patches (termite mounds) and in the less productive savanna matrix. Invertebrate and mammalian herbivory was greater on termite mounds, but the relative importance of each group changed over time. Mammalian offtake was higher than invertebrates in the dry season, but can be eclipsed by invertebrates during the wet season when this group is more active. Our results demonstrate that invertebrates play a substantial role in savanna herbivory and should not be disregarded in attempts to understand the impacts of herbivory on ecosystems.
Keyword Exclosure experiments
Insect herbivory
Kruger national park
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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