Biodiversity maintenance in African savanna: how to deal with severe top-down and bottom-up effects?

Name: Biodiversity maintenance in African savanna: how to deal with severe top-down and bottom-up effects?
Researchers: Hejda Martin (member in research team)
Müllerová Jana (member in research team)
Pyšek Petr (researcher)
Pyšková Klára (member in research team)
Project Type: B - national grants (GA ČR, GA AVČR)
Realization from: 2018
Realization to: 2020
Summary: African savanna is the last biome with surviving diverse and abundant megafauna. It is extremely biologically and culturally important, playing a crucial role for our understanding the complex relationships between vegetation, animals, and various types of disturbance. Savanna is mantained by bottow-up effect of drought and top-down effects of fires and large herbivores. The intensity of these effects increases in some protected areas due to global climatic change and lack of management of elephant populations, which challenges furter maintenance of biological diversity. We will utilize remote-sensing data to explore historical spatiotemporal dynamics of a model savanna region, the Kruger National Park (KNP), and then evaluate the effect of abovementioned factors on vegetation and biodiversity using field data on plants, mammals, birds and insects. We will test a hypothesis that regardless of the severe top-down and bottom-up forces affecting most of the areas, there are sites which maintain high diversity, and these sites are associated especially with seasonal rivers.

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