Elephants, trees, grass, grazers : relationships between climate soils, vegetation and large herbivores in a semi-arid savanna ecosysteem (Tsavo, Kenya)

W. van Wijngaarden

    Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

    Abstract

    Based on descriptions of the climate, soils, vegetation and large herbivore populations, relationships are described between the different components of the Tsavo ecosystem. It appears that there is a strong correlation between the floristic composition of the vegetation and the physical environment (climate and soil). The structure of the vegetation, however, is related more to the density of elephants and the activity of man (fire). The production of the vegetation is strongly related to rainfall and the percentage cover of the relevant vegetation component. Large herbivore distribution and density is related to human activity and the amount and type of forage that is available in a dry year. Static and dynamic models describing these relationships quantitatively are developed and, on the basis of simulations, some conclusions are drawn on the future management options for the national park and the nearby ranches.

    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Zonneveld, I.S., Promotor
    • Sombroek, W.G., Co-promotor, External person
    Award date20 Nov 1985
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs9789061640486
    Publication statusPublished - 1985

    Keywords

    • animals
    • biotopes
    • ecological balance
    • ecology
    • elephantidae
    • equilibrium
    • grazing
    • herbivores
    • kenya
    • landscape
    • landscape ecology
    • mountain grasslands
    • natural grasslands
    • pampas
    • plant succession
    • proboscidea (mammals)
    • rangelands
    • savanna woodlands
    • semiarid zones
    • stability
    • steppes
    • vegetation
    • animal communities
    • disturbance

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