Spatial and temporal variability in Acacia population dynamics
Permanent link to this Item
Link to Journal
University of Cape Town
Variability in fire, herbivory, and climate facilitate the coexistence of trees and grasses in savannas and impact upon savanna structure, which also varies substantially both spatially and temporally. These features can shape savannas at an ecosystem and even at a global scale, but mechanisms for the effects of fire, herbivory, and climate variability on tree cover are often demographic at the tree population level. Sapling growth in particular has repeatedly been shown to be the limiting step, or 'bottleneck', in the establishment of trees in savannas. I set out to investigate how spatial and temporal variability in fire, herbivory, and climate shape population dynamics of a suite of common African savanna trees, the Acacia, in a landscape context. I carried out my field work in Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park in K waZulu Natal, South Africa, during 2006 and 2007. Fire, herbivory, and the grass layer were primary determinants of distributions and co-occurrence of Acacia species.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 130-141).
Staver, A. 2008. Spatial and temporal variability in Acacia population dynamics. University of Cape Town.