The Kruger Experience: Ecology and Management of Savanna Heterogeneity / Edition 2

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Kruger National Park in South Africa has one of the most extensive sets of records of any protected area in the world, and throughout its history has supported connections between science and management. In recognition of that long-standing tradition comes The Kruger Experience, the first book to synthesize/summarize a century of ecological research and management in two million hectares of African savanna.

The Kruger Experience places the scientific and management experience in Kruger within the framework of modern ecological theory and its practical applications. The book uses a cross-cutting theme of ecological heterogeneity — the idea that ecological systems function across a full hierarchy of physical and biological components, processes, and scales, in a dynamic space-time mosaic. Contributors, who include many esteemed ecologists who have worked in Kruger in recent years, examine a range of topics covering broad taxonomic groupings and ecological processes. The book's four sections explore:

  • the historical context of research and management in Kruger, the theme of heterogeneity, and the current philosophy in Kruger for linking science with management
  • the template of natural components and processes, as influenced by management, that determine the present state of the Kruger ecosystem
  • how species interact within the ecosystem to generate further heterogeneity across space and time
  • humans as key components of savanna ecosystems

In addition to the editors, contributors include William J. Bond, Jane Lubchenco, David Mabunda, Michael G.L. ("Gus") Mills, Robert J. Naiman, Norman Owen-Smith, Steward T.A. Pickett, Stuart L. Pimm, and Rober J. Scholes.

The book is an invaluable new resource for scientists and managers involved with large, conserved ecosystems as well as for conservation practitioners and others with interests in adaptive management, the societal context of conservation, links between research and management in parks, and parks/academic partnerships.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559639811
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 492
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Harry Biggs is programme manager for systems ecology research at Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Johan du Toit is the Austin Roberts Professor of Mammalogy in the Department of Zoology and Entomology and director of the Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria.

Kevin Rogers is director of the Centre for Water in the Environment and professor of ecology in the School of Animal Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Brian Walker is past Chief of Australia's CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology and is currently the Program Director of the Resilience Alliance. He spent the first 30 years of his professional life studying how ecosystems function, and the last 10 studying the dynamics of linked social-ecological systems.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I The Historical and Conceptual Framework 1
1 The Kruger National Park: A Century of Management and Research 3
2 Biotic and Abiotic Variability as Key Determinants of Savanna Heterogeneity at Multiple Spatiotemporal Scales 22
3 Adopting a Heterogeneity Paradigm: Implications for Management of Protected Savannas 41
4 An Adaptive System to Link Science, Monitoring, and Management in Practice 59
Pt. II A Template for Savanna Heterogeneity 81
5 The Abiotic Template and Its Associated Vegetation Pattern 83
6 Biogeochemistry: The Cycling of Elements 130
7 Fire as a Driver of Ecosystem Variability 149
8 Surface Water Availability: Implications for Heterogeneity and Ecosystem Processes 171
9 River Heterogeneity: Ecosystem Structure, Function, and Management 189
Pt. III Interactions between Biotic Components 219
10 Interactions between Species and Ecosystem Characteristics 221
11 Vegetation Dynamics in the Kruger Ecosystem 242
12 Insects and Savanna Heterogeneity 263
13 Birds: Responders and Contributors to Savanna Heterogeneity 276
14 Large Herbivores and Savanna Heterogeneity 292
15 Rainfall Influences on Ungulate Population Dynamics 310
16 Kruger's Elephant Population: Its Size and Consequences for Ecosystem Heterogeneity 332
17 Wildlife Diseases and Veterinary Controls: A Savanna Ecosystem Perspective 349
18 Large Carnivores and Savanna Heterogeneity 370
Pt. IV Humans and Savannas 389
19 Anthropogenic Influences at the Ecosystem Level 391
20 Beyond the Fence: People and the Lowveld Landscape 422
21 Heterogeneity and Management of the Lowveld Rivers 447
22 Integration of Science: Successes, Challenges, and the Future 469
23 Reflections on the Kruger Experience and Reaching Forward 488
Contributors 503
Index 507
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