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How many buffalo does it take to change a savanna? A response to Bowman et al. (2008)

Petty, Aaron M. and Werner, Patricia A. (2010). How many buffalo does it take to change a savanna? A response to Bowman et al. (2008). Journal of Biogeography,37(1):193-195.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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IRMA ID 81704288xPUB549
Title How many buffalo does it take to change a savanna? A response to Bowman et al. (2008)
Author Petty, Aaron M.
Werner, Patricia A.
Journal Name Journal of Biogeography
Publication Date 2010
Volume Number 37
Issue Number 1
ISSN 0305-0270   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-72549087921
Start Page 193
End Page 195
Total Pages 3
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
HERDC Category C2 - Journal Article - Other contributions to refereed journal (internal)
Abstract Bowman et al. (Journal of Biogeography, 2008, 35, 1976-1988) aimed to explain observed increases in woody cover on floodplains and savannas of Kakadu National Park using estimates of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) density as a causal variable. They found that buffalo were a minor model variable and concluded that buffalo are 'not a major driver of floodplain and eucalypt dynamics'. However, the authors mislabelled the historical density of buffalo on their site, citing a period as high density instead of low density. Further, their results were not contextualized within the substantial body of scientific and historical evidence of the buffalo's strong influence on vegetation in Kakadu. The authors instead postulated three unanalysed drivers of observed patterns of change: Fire regime, rainfall and atmospheric CO2. We suggest that further analyses of change in woody vegetation should make use of accurate historical records of grazers as well as available data sets on fire history.
Keywords Aerial photography
Australia
Bubalus bubalis
Floodplain
Grazing-fire interactions
Historical ecology
Kakadu National Park
Landscape vegetation change
Multimodel inference
Woody cover increases
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02185.x   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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