The Biology of African Savannahs

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OUP Oxford, Aug 30, 2007 - Nature - 268 pages
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Savannah habitats comprise an ecologically important but ultimately fragile ecosystem. They constitute one of the largest biomes on Earth, covering about twenty percent of the land surface, and can be simply described as tropical and subtropical grasslands with scattered bushes and trees. Most savannahs occur in Africa (with a smaller amount in South America, India and Australia), which is the region that this book concentrates on. Savannahs form a rich mosaic of diverse ecosystems, and The Biology of African Savannahs offers a concise but comprehensive introduction to their ecology. It describes the major plants (grasses, and trees such as Acacia) and animals (mainly large mammals) that live in this habitat, and examines the biological and ecological factors that influence their population size, interactions (such as predation) and community composition. Conservation issues such as climate change, hunting, and conflict between wildlife and domestic animals are also discussed. This accessible text is suitable for both senior undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in savannah and tropical ecology as part of a wider ecology and/or conservation biology degree programme. It will also be of relevance and use to the many professional ecologists and conservation practitioners requiring a concise but authoritative overview of the topic.

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About the author (2007)

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Bryan Shorrocks is an Honorary Professor in the Environment Department, University of York. Before his association with York he was Professor of Population Ecology at the University of Leeds. For many years he was senior editor of the Journal of Animal Ecology and is presently one of the panel of referees for the African Journal of Ecology. He has twice been a member of the Council of the British Ecological Society, and has been on research committees for NERC (TLS, and Large Scale Ecological Processes in Ecology), and AFRC (Plants & Environment, and Global Environment Change). Presently he gives scientific advice to the Namibian Cheetah Project, is UK representative for the East African Wildlife Society (and is a Trustee of the East African Wildlife Trust. He carries most of his East African Research at the Mpala Research Centre, in Laikipia, central Kenya.