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Wong, Janson, 2013. Effects of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) on forage opportunities for local ungulates through pushing over trees. Second cycle, A2E. Umeå: SLU, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies

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Abstract

African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are ecosystem engineers that have the ability to alter the physical structure of the landscape it inhabits and subsequently affect the livelihood of other local species. This study evaluated the landscape and plant level impacts by elephants by means of fallen trees in the Karoo ecosystem. Fourteen transects were walked and found the proportion of fallen trees inside the Kuzuko section of the Addo
Elephant National Park was higher than outside the game reserve. Potential shoot bites were higher for standing trees than fallen trees but percentage cover of coppiced re-growth remained similar for all fallen treatments except the Dead treatment. Standing trees were especially important as nurse plants, having a higher density of woody saplings and forbs coverage. Average foliage surface area from the canopy was better than foliage collected from coppiced re-growth outside the reserve. There was a noticeable effect from elephant presence. My data showed that both forage availability and quality decreased from a standing to a fallen tree. However, additional studies should be conducted for a better understanding of foliage quality differences.

Main title:Effects of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) on forage opportunities for local ungulates through pushing over trees
Authors:Wong, Janson
Supervisor:Cromsigt, Joris and Kerley, Graham
Examiner:Spong, Göran
Series:Examensarbete i ämnet biologi / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för vilt, fisk och miljö
Volume/Sequential designation:2013:12
Year of Publication:2013
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:SM003 Management of Fish and Wildlife Populations - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Keywords:African elephants, cascade effects, forage, treefalls, fallen trees, common duiker, kudu, black rhinoceros
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-2473
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-2473
Subjects:Animal ecology
Language:English
Deposited On:02 Jul 2013 10:55
Metadata Last Modified:02 Jul 2013 10:55

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