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Human- and risk-mediated browsing pressure by sympatric antelope in an African savanna

Show simple item record Tobias O. Otieno Jacob R. Goheen Paul W. Webala Albert Mwangi Isaac M. Osuga Adam T. Fordc 2019-02-07T13:34:21Z 2019-02-07T13:34:21Z 2019
dc.description.abstract Human activity shapes landscape heterogeneity, which can influence where and how species interact. In African savannas, human-mediated changes to woody cover affect perceptions of risk and foraging decisions by large herbivores. Through cafeteria-style feeding trials, we presented two common, browsing ungulates (Guenther's dik-dik [Madoqua guentheri] and impala [Aepyceros melampus]) with branches from four tree species that varied in their relative investment in mechanical and chemical defenses. We conducted trials in habitats that were perceived as risky to either dik-dik (i.e., open habitat) or impala (i.e., bushland habitat). We found that dik-dik preferred to eat thorny trees low in tannin content within bushland habitats, while the larger-bodied impala preferred tannin-rich but thorn-less branches within open habitats. Risk-induced habitat use homogenized browsing pressureinthe lowercanopy, butincreased heterogeneityinbrowsing pressureintheuppercanopy. In addition, plant defenses neutralized the effects of risk, and foraging height on browsing pressure. Our results demonstrate how foraging experiments—typically the basis for field studies on species coexistence—can be extended to make inferences about consumer-resource dynamics in human-modified landscapes. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.title Human- and risk-mediated browsing pressure by sympatric antelope in an African savanna en_US
dc.type Learning Object en_US

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