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Serengeti IVSustaining biodiversity in a coupled human-natural system$
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Anthony R. E. Sinclair, Kristine L. Metzger, Simon A. R. Mduma, and John M. Fryxell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226195834

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226196336.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

The Effect of Natural Disturbances on the Avian Community of the Serengeti Woodlands

The Effect of Natural Disturbances on the Avian Community of the Serengeti Woodlands

Chapter:
(p.394) (p.395) Fourteen The Effect of Natural Disturbances on the Avian Community of the Serengeti Woodlands
Source:
Serengeti IV
Author(s):

Ally K. Nkwabi

Anthony R. E. Sinclair

Kristine L. Metzger

Simon A. R. Mduma

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226196336.003.0014

Natural disturbances such as fire and grazing create a mosaic of patches during the dry season. We found that fire, in particular, changed avian abundance. Although richness of species did not change with either disturbance, there was a turnover of species with some species coming in to replace those whose populations were reduced by fire. Thus, there was an overall increase in diversity as a result of these natural disturbances. In contrast, major habitat modifications by humans due to agriculture have been found to significantly reduce both richness and abundance by as much as 50 percent. In essence, large disturbances to habitat such as agricultural modifications are detrimental to the conservation of savanna avifauna whereas moderate disturbances such as burning enhance the overall diversity.

Keywords:   ecological communities, natural disturbance, biodiversity, avian diversity

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