Large herbivores suppress liana infestation in an African savanna

Tyler C. Coverdale, Ryan D. O'Connell, Matthew C. Hutchinson, Amanda Savagian, Tyler R. Kartzinel, Todd M. Palmer, Jacob R. Goheen, David J. Augustine, Mahesh Sankaran, Corina E. Tarnita & Robert M. Pringle
African savannas are the last stronghold of diverse large-mammal communities, and a major focus of savanna ecology is to understand how these animals affect the relative abundance of trees and grasses. However, savannas support diverse plant life-forms, and human-induced changes in large-herbivore assemblages—declining wildlife populations and their displacement by livestock—may cause unexpected shifts in plant community composition. We investigated how herbivory affects the prevalence of lianas (woody vines) and their impact on trees in an...
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