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Bucini, G. and Hanan, N.P. 2007. A continental-scale analysis of tree cover in African savannas. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 16(5): 93-605


Description:

We present a continental-scale analysis that explores the processes controlling woody community structure in tropical savannas. We analyse how biotic and abiotic factors interact to promote and modify tree cover, examine alternative ecological hypotheses and quantify disturbance effects using satellite estimates of tree cover.

Summary / Notes:

The analysis provides a new understanding of the importance and interaction of environmental and disturbance factors that create the broad spatial patterns of tree cover observed in African savannas. Woody cover increases with rainfall, but is modified by disturbances. These 'perturbation' effects depend on MAP regimes: in arid savannas (MAP < 400 mm) they are generally small (< 1% decrease in cover), while in semi-arid and mesic savannas (400–1600 mm), perturbations result in an average 2% (400 mm) to 23% (1600 mm) decrease in cover; fire frequency and human population have more influence than cattle, and cultivation appears, on average, to lead to small increases in woody cover. Keywords: Africa, disturbance, fire, savanna, tree cover, tree–grass interactions.

Year: 2007

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2007.00325.x/full


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