5 Works

Data from: A stoichiometric perspective of the effect of herbivore dung on ecosystem functioning

Judith Sitters & Harry Olde Venterink
Ungulate herbivores play a prominent role in maintaining the tree–grass balance in African savannas. Their top-down role through selective feeding on either trees or grasses is well studied, but their bottom-up role through deposition of nutrients in dung and urine has been overlooked. Here, we propose a novel concept of savanna ecosystem functioning in which the balance between trees and grasses is maintained through stoichiometric differences in dung of herbivores that feed on them. We...

Data from: Interacting effects of wildlife loss and climate on ticks and tick-borne disease

Georgia Titcomb, Brian F. Allan, Tyler Ainsworth, Henson Lauren, Tyler Hedlund, Robert M. Pringle, Todd M. Palmer, Laban Njoroge, Michael G. Campana, Robert C. Fleischer, John Naisikie Mantas, Hillary S. Young & Lauren Henson
Both large-wildlife loss and climatic changes can independently influence the prevalence and distribution of zoonotic disease. Given growing evidence that wildlife loss often has stronger community-level effects in low-productivity areas, we hypothesized that these perturbations would have interactive effects on disease risk. We experimentally tested this hypothesis by measuring tick abundance and the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens (Coxiella burnetii and Rickettsia spp.) within long-term, size-selective, large-herbivore exclosures replicated across a precipitation gradient in East Africa....

Data from: Climatic variation modulates the indirect effects of large herbivores on small-mammal habitat use

Ryan A. Long, Alois Wambua, Jacob R. Goheen, Todd M. Palmer & Robert M. Pringle
Large mammalian herbivores (LMH) strongly shape the composition and architecture of plant communities. A growing literature shows that negative direct effects of LMH on vegetation frequently propagate to suppress the abundance of smaller consumers. Indirect effects of LMH on the behaviour of these consumers, however, have received comparatively little attention despite their potential ecological significance. We sought to understand (i) how LMH indirectly shape small-mammal habitat use by altering the density and distribution of understorey...

Data from: Polygyny does not explain the superior competitive ability of dominant ant associates in the African ant-plant, Acacia (Vachellia) drepanolobium

John H. Boyle, Dino J. Martins, Julianne Pelaez, Paul M. Musili, Staline Kibet, S. Kimani Ndung'u, David Kenfack & Naomi E. Pierce
1. The Acacia drepanolobium (also known as Vachellia drepanolobium) ant-plant symbiosis is considered a classic case of species coexistence, in which four species of tree-defending ants compete for nesting space in a single host tree species. Coexistence in this system has been explained by trade-offs in the ability of the ant associates to compete with each other for occupied trees versus the ability to colonize unoccupied trees. 2. We seek to understand the proximal reasons...

Data from: Economy of scale: third partner strengthens a keystone ant-plant mutualism

Kirsten M. Prior & Todd M. Palmer
While foundation species can stabilize ecosystems at landscape scales, their ability to persist is often underlain by keystone interactions occurring at smaller scales. Acacia drepanolobium is a foundation tree, comprising >95% of woody cover in East African black-cotton savanna ecosystems. Its dominance is underlain by a keystone mutualistic interaction with several symbiotic ant species in which it provides housing (swollen thorns) and carbohydrate-rich nectar from extra-floral nectaries (EFN). In return, it gains protection from catastrophic...

Registration Year

  • 2017

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Mpala Research Center and Wildlife Foundation
  • University of Florida
  • Princeton University
  • National Museum
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • University of Wyoming
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of Nairobi