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2014 | 59 | 3 |
Tytuł artykułu

Forage patch use by grazing herbivores in a South African grazing ecosystem

Warianty tytułu
Języki publikacji
EN
Abstrakty
EN
Understanding how different herbivores make forage patch use choices explains how they maintain an adequate nutritional status, which is important for effective conservation management of grazing ecosystems. Using telemetry data, we investigated nonruminant zebra (Equus burchelli) and ruminant red hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus subspecies camaa), use of burnt patches in a landscape mosaic of nutrient-poor, old grassland interspersed with young, recently burnt, nutrient-rich grass patches. The Mkambati Nature Reserve landscape on the east coast of South Africa provided large grazers with a challenge in finding and using appropriate patches in which to forage to meet their nutritional requirements. In Mkambati, grassland fires, mostly ignited by poachers, induce regrowth of young nutrient-rich grass, which subsequently attract grazers. We tested if the study animals foraged more in burnt patches than in the unburned grassland and whether burnt patch use was related to the distance to the previously visited burnt patch, burnt patch size, burnt patch age, and distance to areas with high poaching risk using MANOVA. In general, zebra moved faster than red hartebeest, and both species moved faster in unburnt grassland than in burnt patches. Red hartebeest and zebra patch selection were influenced by interpatch distance, patch age, patch size, and poaching risk. A limited set of intrinsic traits, i.e., body mass, digestion strategy, and muzzle width, yielded different patch use rules for the two species. Large ungulates patch use behaviour varied among species and across conditions and was influenced by anthropogenic impacts such as poaching and changed fire regimes. This could potentially affect biodiversity negatively and needs to be factored into management of conservation areas.
Wydawca
-
Czasopismo
Rocznik
Tom
59
Numer
3
Opis fizyczny
p.457-466,fig.,ref.
Twórcy
autor
  • School of Life Sciences, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
  • Department of Biodiversity Conservation, Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, PO Box 11235, Southernwood, East London 5213, South Africa
  • Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
  • School of Life Sciences, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
  • Resource Ecology Group, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 3a, 6705PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
autor
  • School of Life Sciences, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
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Typ dokumentu
Bibliografia
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Identyfikator YADDA
bwmeta1.element.agro-131dd6dc-7dd0-455f-8ea2-c95b45bd35fc
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