Variable effects of termite mounds on African savanna grass communities across a rainfall gradient

Davies, Andrew B., Robertson, Mark P., Levick, Shaun R., Asner, Gregory P., van Rensburg, Berndt J. and Parr, Catherine L. (2014) Variable effects of termite mounds on African savanna grass communities across a rainfall gradient. Journal of Vegetation Science, 25 6: 1405-1416. doi:10.1111/jvs.12200


Author Davies, Andrew B.
Robertson, Mark P.
Levick, Shaun R.
Asner, Gregory P.
van Rensburg, Berndt J.
Parr, Catherine L.
Title Variable effects of termite mounds on African savanna grass communities across a rainfall gradient
Journal name Journal of Vegetation Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1100-9233
1654-1103
Publication date 2014-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/jvs.12200
Volume 25
Issue 6
Start page 1405
End page 1416
Total pages 12
Place of publication Grangaerde, Sweden
Publisher Opulus Press
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Termite mounds of the genus Macrotermes are prominent features in African savannas, forming nutrient hotspots that support greater plant diversity, which is of higher nutritional value than the surrounding savanna matrix. However, little is known about grass communities on and around mounds or how the functional importance of mounds varies across sites. As mean annual rainfall increases, savannas in southern Africa become increasingly dystrophic through increased denitrification (including pyrodenitrification) and the leaching of soil nutrients. The functional importance of mounds is concomitantly expected to increase as the difference in foliar nutrient levels between mounds and the savanna matrix increases. We tested this prediction on grass communities across a rainfall gradient to: (i) determine the degree to which grass assemblages differ between termite mounds and the savanna matrix; (ii) determine the spatial extent to which mounds influence grass communities; and (iii) investigate whether these patterns differ across savanna types.
Keyword LiDAR
Macrotermes
Nutrients
Spatial heterogeneity
Species richness
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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