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Impala as Controllers of Elephant-Driven Change within a Savanna Ecosystem
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
2014 (English)In: Elephants and Savanna Woodland Ecosystems: A Study from Chobe National Park, Botswana / [ed] Christina Skarpe, Johan T. du Toit and Stein R. Moe, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014, 154-171 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

To understand ecosystem structure and dynamics we need more knowledge of how common species affect ecosystem dynamics. In this context, impala are especially interesting in the Chobe ecosystem, where they are now common but were much less so just a few decades ago. The chapter uses the Chobe ecosystem as a case-study to explore the possibility that the recovery of the elephant population has created habitat that favours impala. The authors hypothesise that, following changes in plant structure and species composition along the Chobe river caused by increasing numbers of elephant, the impala population grew substantially and is currently preventing the shrubland from reverting to its previous woodland state. The conceptual framework used in the chapter is that of Pickett et al., in which elephants function as agents responsible for the change in state. Species other than impala can also play a role in seedling predation in African Savannas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. 154-171 p.
Keyword [en]
Ecosystem controller, Elephant-driven change, Impala, Savanna ecosystem, Seedling predation, Woodland regeneration
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-307117DOI: 10.1002/9781118858615.ch10ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84923258849ISBN: 9781118858615ISBN: 9780470671764OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-307117DiVA: diva2:1048270
Available from: 2016-11-21 Created: 2016-11-08 Last updated: 2016-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Hytteborn, Håkan
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Plant Ecology and Evolution
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