Savannah trees buffer herbaceous plant biomass against wild and domestic herbivores

Dr Stuart Smith summarizes the results of a recent paper in the Applied Vegetation Science ( that shows specialist grass species underneath trees are important for maintaining herbaceous biomass with increasing herbivore pressure and livestock dominance in African savannahs. Continue reading the post on the AfricanBioServices project blog.

The impact of mammalian herbivores on savannah understorey herbaceous biomass was determined using a series of small-scale exclosures. These exclosures were monitored by villagers and wildlife rangers on a monthly basis. Grass biomass was estimated non-destructively using a calibrated pasture disc meter. Photo credit: Anders Sundsdal