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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: 26 September 2021

Biodiversity and the Dynamics of Riverine Forests in Serengeti

Biodiversity and the Dynamics of Riverine Forests in Serengeti

Chapter:
(p.235) Nine Biodiversity and the Dynamics of Riverine Forests in Serengeti
Source:
Serengeti IV
Author(s):

Roy Turkington

Gregory Sharam

Anthony R. E. Sinclair

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226196336.003.0009

The findings reported in this chapter represent a major shift in our understanding of riparian forest dynamics in East Africa. Lowland forests along the Grumeti are composed of tree species from the large, continuous forests in Central Africa and West Africa, and montane species along the Mara are common in the highlands surrounding Lake Victoria. It has been thought that forest cover expanded from Central Africa during a warm, wet period 10 000 – 8 000 BP and today’s individual riverine forest fragments are remnants of this expansion. Our studies challenge this and indicate that forests can establish rapidly under suitable conditions via the facilitative effects of A. polyacantha and E. Divinorum. Moreover, the conditions suitable for the establishment, reduced fire, browsers and grass, can be altered through management practices on a local scale. Hence, managers are not dependant on long term shifts in climate or groundwater. These results suggest that the ecology of forest establishment is much more dynamic than previously thought.

Keywords:   Acacia polyacantha, Euclea divinorum, nurse species, forest, riparian forest

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