During the nineteenth century, ivory hunting caused a substantial decrease of elephant numbers in southern Africa. Soon after that, populations of many other large and medium-sized herbivores went into steep decline due to the rinderpest pandemic in the 1890s. These two events provided an opportunity for woodland establishment in areas previously intensively utilized by elephants and other herbivores. The return of elephants to currently protected areas of their former range has greatly influenced vegetation locally and the resulting potential negative effects on biodiversity are causing concern among stakeholders, managers, and scientists. This book focuses on the ecological effects of the increasing elephant population in northern Botswana, presenting the importance of the elephants for the heterogeneity of the system, and showing that elephant ecology involves much wider spatiotemporal scales than was previously thought. Drawing on the results of their research, the authors discuss elephant-caused effects on vegetation in nutrient-rich and nutrient-poor savannas, and the potential competition between elephants on the one hand and browsers and mixed feeders on the other. Ultimately this text provides a comprehensive review of ecological processes in African savannas, covering long-term ecosystem changes and human-wildlife conflicts. It summarises new knowledge on the ecology of the sub-humid African savanna ecosystems to advance the general functional understanding of savanna ecosystems across moisture and nutrient gradients.
Insights on current research and recent developments in understanding global savanna systems Increasingly recognized as synonymous with tropical grassy biomes, savannas are found in tropical and sub-tropical climates as well as warm, temperate regions of North America. Savanna Woody Plants and Large Herbivores examines the interactions between woody plants and browsing mammals in global savannas—focusing primarily on the C4 grassy ecosystems with woody components that constitute the majority of global savannas—and discusses contemporary savanna management models and applications. This much-needed addition to current research examines topics including the varying behavior of browsing mammals, the response to browsing by woody species, and the factors that inhibit forage intake. Contributions from an international team of active researchers and experts compare and contrast different savanna ecosystems, offering a global perspective on savanna functioning, the roles of soil and climate in resource availability and organism interaction, and the possible impacts of climate change across global savannas. Fills a gap in literature on savanna management issues, including biodiversity conservation and animal production Applies concepts developed in other biomes to future savanna research Complements contemporary books on savanna or large herbivore ecology Focuses on the woody component of savanna ecosystems and large herbivore interactions in savannas Compares tree-mammal systems of savannas and other eco-systems of temperate and boreal regions Provides numerous case studies of plant-mammal interactions from various savanna ecosystems Savanna Woody Plants and Large Herbivores is a valuable addition to those in fields such as ecology, wildlife and conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science.
Understanding deserts and drylands is essential, as arid landscapes cover >40% of the Earth and are home to two billion people. Today's problematic environment–human interaction needs contemporary knowledge to address dryland complexity. Physical dimensions in arid zones—land systems, climate and hazards, ecology—are linked with social processes that directly impact drylands, such as land management, livelihoods, and development. The challenges require integrated research that identifies systemic drivers across global arid regions. Measurement and monitoring, field investigation, remote sensing, and data analysis are effective tools to investigate natural dynamics. Equally, inquiry into how policy and practice affect landscape sustainability is key to mitigating detrimental activity in deserts. Relations between socio-economic forces and degradation, agro-pastoral rangeland use, drought and disaster and resource extraction reflect land interactions. Contemporary themes of food security, conflict, and conservation are interlinked in arid environments. This book unifies desert science, arid environments, and dryland development. The chapters identify land dynamics, address system risks and delineate human functions through original research in arid zones. Mixed methodologies highlight the vital links between social and environmental science in global deserts. The book engages with today's topical themes and presents novel analyses of arid land systems and societies.
East Africa is one of the most diverse and interesting tropical area on the planet. It is home not only to the last great megafaunal assemblage, but also to human populations with the highest growth rates. This book draws on the expertise of leading ecologists, each intimately familiar with a particular set of East African ecosystems, to provide the first in-depth and integrated account of the ecology, management, threats, and conservation of these diverse ecosystems. Summarizing the tremendous wealth of scientific research that has come out of East Africa in the last few decades, each chapter analyzes a given ecosystem type, taking the reader through the basics of its ecology, its historical use (and misuse) by humans, and its prospects for conservation. Throughout the book, linkages and similarities among ecosystems are emphasized, the historical and contemporary role of humans in shaping these ecosystems is considered, fundamental principles of ecology are considered, and interesting case studies are highlighted. Students and researchers in ecology, conservation biology, and environmental sciences will find this book useful in their work.
The southern African savannah landscape has been framed as an 'Arid Eden' in recent literature, as one of Africa's most sought after exotic tourism destinations by twenty-first century travellers, as a 'last frontier' by early twentieth-century travellers and as an ancient ancestral land by Namibia's Herero communities. In this 150-year history of the region, Michael Bollig looks at how this 'Arid Eden' came into being, how this 'last frontier' was construed, and how local pastoralists relate to the landscape. Putting the intricate and changing relations between humans, arid savannah grasslands and its co-evolving animal inhabitants at the centre of his analysis, this history of material relations, of power struggles between commercial hunters and wildlife, between wealthy cattle patrons and foraging clients, between established homesteads and recent migrants, conservationists and pastoralists. Finally, Bollig highlights how futures are being aspired to and planned for between the increasing challenges of climate change, global demands for cheap ores and quests for biodiversity conservation.
This book is open access under a CC BY-NC 2.5 license. This book provides an unprecedented synthesis of the current status of scientific and management knowledge regarding global rangelands and the major challenges that confront them. It has been organized around three major themes. The first summarizes the conceptual advances that have occurred in the rangeland profession. The second addresses the implications of these conceptual advances to management and policy. The third assesses several major challenges confronting global rangelands in the 21st century. This book will compliment applied range management textbooks by describing the conceptual foundation on which the rangeland profession is based. It has been written to be accessible to a broad audience, including ecosystem managers, educators, students and policy makers. The content is founded on the collective experience, knowledge and commitment of 80 authors who have worked in rangelands throughout the world. Their collective contributions indicate that a more comprehensive framework is necessary to address the complex challenges confronting global rangelands. Rangelands represent adaptive social-ecological systems, in which societal values, organizations and capacities are of equal importance to, and interact with, those of ecological processes. A more comprehensive framework for rangeland systems may enable management agencies, and educational, research and policy making organizations to more effectively assess complex problems and develop appropriate solutions.
Antelopes constitute a fundamental part of ecosystems throughout Africa and Asia where they act as habitat architects, dispersers of seeds, and prey for large carnivores. The fascication they hold in the human mind is evident from prehistoric rock paintings and ancient Egyptian art to today's wildlife documentaries and popularity in zoos. In recent years, however, the spectacular herds of the past have been decimated or extripated over wide areas in the wilds, and urgent conservation action is needed to preserve this world heritage for generations to come. As the first book dedicated to antelope conservation, this volume sets out to diagnose the causes of the drastic declines in antelope biodiversity and on this basis identify the most effective points of action. In doing so, the book covers central issues in the current conservation debate, especially related to the management of overexploitation, habitat fragmentation, disease transmission, climate change, populations genetics, and reintroductions. The contributions are authored by world-leading experts in the field, and the book is a useful resource to conservation scientists and practitioners, researchers, and students in related disciplines as well as interested lay people.
Protected areas spearhead our response to the rapidly accelerating biodiversity crisis. However, while the number of protected areas has been growing rapidly over the past 20 years, the extent to which the world’s protected areas are effectively conserving species, ecosystems, and ecosystem services is poorly understood. Highlights new techniques for better management and monitoring of protected areas Sets guidelines for the decision making processes involved in setting up and maintaining protected areas Fully international in scope and covering all ecosystems and biomes
This ecological analysis of elephant-human interaction, and its implications for the conservation of Asian elephants, includes recommendations on conservation and management, taking into consideration the socio-economic characteristics of the Asian region.
In Volume 1 of this four-volume series, ecological problems of a general nature were discussed from a global point of view. Familiarity with this is essential for a full understanding of the more specialized treatment in this and subsequent volumes, for no similar approach is to be found in other ecological handbooks for beginners. This present volume deals in detail with the special ecological relation ships of the tropical and subtropical zonobiomes I to III. Most ecologists proceed from the basis of their experience in the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere. As a result, many ecological writings show a certain one-sidedness and there is a danger that generalizations made will not be broadly applicable. To avoid this, particular emphasis is laid, in this vol urne, on the special ecological features and the characteristics of the trop ical and subtropical regions. More specifically, we deal not only with the relationship of the euclimatope to zonal soils and zonal vegetation, but also pay attention to azonal conditions shown in pedobiomes and in the altitudinal belts of mountains, the orobiomes. In this and the subsequent volumes the same simple scheme is followed in treating each zonobiome: 1. climate; 2. soils; 3. producers; 4. consum ers; 5. decomposers; 6. ecosystems; 7. sub division into biomes; 8. oro biomes; 9. pedobiomes and 10. zonoecotones. Where it has appeared expedient, however, we have occasionally deviated from this scheme (see Deserts D, F, G and H).
Serengeti II: Dynamics, Management, and Conservation of an Ecosystem brings together twenty years of research by leading scientists to provide the most most thorough understanding to date of the spectacular Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in East Africa, home to one of the largest and most diverse populations of animals in the world. Building on the groundwork laid by the classic Serengeti: Dynamics of an Ecosystem, published in 1979 by the University of Chicago Press, this new book integrates studies of the ecosystem at every level—from the plants at the bottom of the visible food chain, to the many species of herbivores and predators, to the system as a whole. Drawing on new data from many long-term studies and from more recent research initiatives, and applying new theory and computer technology, the contributors examine the large-scale processes that have produced the Serengeti's extraordinary biological diversity, as well as the interactions among species and between plants and animals and their environment. They also introduce computer modeling as a tool for exploring these interactions, employing this new technology to test and anticipate the effects of social, political, and economic changes on the entire ecosystem and on particular species, and so to shape future conservation and management strategies.
"In Elephants and Ethics, Christen Wemmer and Catherine A. Christen assemble an international cohort of experts to review the history of human-elephant relations, discuss current issues of vital concern to elephant welfare, and assess the prospects for the ethical coexistence of both species."--Front flap.
An interdisciplinary text on the world's savannas, covering the geography, ecology, economics and politics of savanna regions. Savannas are a distinct vegetation type, covering a third of the world's land surface area and supporting a fifth of the world's population. There has been a wide range of literature on the subject, but the majority of work has focused on the ecology or development of savanna areas, ignoring the wider interdisciplinary issues affecting contemporary savannas. World Savannas aims to buck this trend, providing students with an up-to-date and comprehensive introduction to the global importance of savannas.
Mammals of Africa (MoA) is a series of six volumes which describes, in detail, every currently recognized species of African land mammal. This is the first time that such extensive coverage has ever been attempted, and the volumes incorporate the very latest information and detailed discussion of the morphology, distribution, biology and evolution (including reference to fossil and molecular data) of Africa's mammals. With 1,160 species and 16 orders, Africa has the greatest diversity and abundance of mammals in the world. The reasons for this and the mechanisms behind their evolution are given special attention in the series. Each volume follows the same format, with detailed profiles of every species and higher taxa. The series includes some 660 colour illustrations by Jonathan Kingdon and his many drawings highlight details of morphology and behaviour of the species concerned. Diagrams, schematic details and line drawings of skulls and jaws are by Jonathan Kingdon and Meredith Happold. Every species also includes a detailed distribution map. Extensive references alert readers to more detailed information. Volume I: Introductory Chapters and Afrotheria (352 pages) Volume II: Primates (560 pages) Volume III: Rodents, Hares and Rabbits (784 pages) Volume IV: Hedgehogs, Shrews and Bats (800 pages) Volume V: Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses (560 pages) Volume VI: Pigs, Hippopotamuses, Chevrotain, Giraffes, Deer and Bovids (704 pages)
Mammals of Africa (MoA) is a series of six volumes which describes, in detail, every currently recognized species of African land mammal. This is the first time that such extensive coverage has ever been attempted, and the volumes incorporate the very latest information and detailed discussion of the morphology, distribution, biology and evolution (including reference to fossil and molecular data) of Africa's mammals. With more than 1,160 species and 16-18 orders, Africa has the greatest diversity and abundance of mammals in the world. The reasons for this and the mechanisms behind their evolution are given special attention in the series. Each volume follows the same format, with detailed profiles of every species and higher taxa. The series includes hundreds of colour illustrations and pencil drawings by Jonathan Kingdon highlighting the morphology and behaviour of the species concerned, as well as line drawings of skulls and jaws by Jonathan Kingdon and Meredith Happold. Every species also includes a detailed distribution map. Edited by Jonathan Kingdon, David Happold, Tom Butynski, Mike Hoffmann, Meredith Happold and Jan Kalina, and written by more than 350 authors, all experts in their fields, Mammals of Africa is as comprehensive a compendium of current knowledge as is possible. Extensive references alert readers to more detailed information. This first volume in the series comprises eight introductory chapters covering topics such as evolution, geography and geology, biotic zones, classification, behaviour and morphology. The rest of the book is devoted to the Afrotheria, a grouping that comprises six orders and 49 species; these are the hyraxes, elephants, manatees, otter-shrews, golden-moles, sengis (elephant-shrews) and Aardvark.