The consequences of replacing wildlife with livestock in Africa

Show simple item record Hempson, G.P. Archibald, S. Bond, W.J. 2019-11-14T13:38:33Z 2019-11-14T13:38:33Z 2017-12-01
dc.identifier.citation Hempson, G.P., Archibald, S. and Bond, W.J., 2017. The consequences of replacing wildlife with livestock in Africa. Scientific reports, 7(1), Article number 17196. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 2045-2322(electronic)
dc.description.abstract The extirpation of native wildlife species and widespread establishment of livestock farming has dramatically distorted large mammal herbivore communities across the globe. Ecological theory suggests that these shifts in the form and the intensity of herbivory have had substantial impacts on a range of ecosystem processes, but for most ecosystems it is impossible to quantify these changes accurately. We address these challenges using species-level biomass data from sub-Saharan Africa for both present day and reconstructed historical herbivore communities. Our analyses reveal pronounced herbivore biomass losses in wetter areas and substantial biomass increases and functional type turnover in arid regions. Fire prevalence is likely to have been altered over vast areas where grazer biomass has transitioned to above or below the threshold at which grass fuel reduction can suppress fire. Overall, shifts in the functional composition of herbivore communities promote an expansion of woody cover. Total herbivore methane emissions have more than doubled, but lateral nutrient diffusion capacity is below 5% of past levels. The release of fundamental ecological constraints on herbivore communities in arid regions appears to pose greater threats to ecosystem function than do biomass losses in mesic regions, where fire remains the major consumer. en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Scientific Reports en_ZA
dc.rights © The Author(s) 2017 en_ZA
dc.subject Africa en_ZA
dc.subject animal en_ZA
dc.subject biomass en_ZA
dc.subject chemistry en_ZA
dc.subject diffusion en_ZA
dc.subject environmental protection en_ZA
dc.subject greenhouse gas en_ZA
dc.subject herbivory en_ZA
dc.subject life stock en_ZA
dc.subject metabolism en_ZA
dc.subject wild animal en_ZA
dc.title The consequences of replacing wildlife with livestock in Africa en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA
dc.journal.volume 7 en_ZA
dc.journal.title Scientific Reports en_ZA
dc.description.librarian NLB en_ZA
dc.citation.doi 10.1038/s41598-017-17348-4 en_ZA
dc.citation.issue 1 en_ZA
dc.funder GPH was supported by South African DST/NRF Global Change Grand Challenge Grant #92464. SA was supported by the USAID/NAS programme Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (Sub-Grant 2000004946, Cycle 3). Tristan Charles-Dominique provided valuable feedback on an earlier version of the manuscript en_ZA

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