Impact of black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis minor) on a local population of Euphorbia bothae in the Great Fish River Reserve, South Africa

B.L. Luske, T. Mertens, P.C. Lent, W.F. de Boer, H.H.T. Prins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the Great Fish River Reserve, South Africa, black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis minor) feed extensively on a local population of Euphorbia bothae. Maintaining the endangered black rhinoceros and the protected E. bothae population are both conservation priorities of the reserve. Therefore, the sustainability of this plant–animal interaction was investigated by comparing population characteristics, browsing incidence and intensity within the reserve and in an adjacent exclosure without access to rhino. Fixed-point photographs showed that over a 2-month period 36.6% of 213 monitored plants were browsed, with an average biomass loss of 13%, and 1% were destroyed. Of 26 plants re-photographed after approximately 3 years, 70% showed a decrease in biomass, averaging 37.8% over this period. In this time span, 19% of the monitored plants died. Small plants (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-517
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • succulent thicket
  • height structure
  • eastern cape
  • elephant
  • quality
  • herbivory
  • selection
  • browsers
  • dynamics
  • saplings

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis minor) on a local population of Euphorbia bothae in the Great Fish River Reserve, South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this