Resource selection by grazing herbivores on post-fire regrowth in a West African woodland savanna
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Erik Klop; Janneke van Goethem; Hans H. de Iongh
Publication Year: 2007

Cataloging Information

  • Africa
  • fire
  • grassland
  • grazing
  • pyric herbivory
  • savanna fires
  • savannas
  • ungulates
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: March 15, 2017
FRAMES Record Number: 17980


The preference of grazing herbivores to feed on grass regrowth following savanna fires rather than on unburnt grass swards is widely recognised. However, there is little information on which factors govern patterns of resource selection within burnt areas. In this study, we attempted to disentangle the effects of different habitat and grass sward characteristics on the utilisation of post-fire regrowth by nine species of ungulates in a fire-dominated woodland savanna in north Cameroon. We used resource-selection functions based on logistic regression. Overall, the resource-selection functions identified the time elapsed since burning as the most influential parameter in determining probability of use by ungulates, as most species strongly selected swards that were recently burned. This pattern might be related to nutrient levels in the grass sward. In addition, most species selected areas with high grass cover and avoided grass swards with high amounts of dead stem material. This is likely to increase bite mass and, hence, intake rates. The avoidance of high tree cover by some species may suggest selection for open areas with good visibility and, hence, reduced risk of predation. Body mass seemed to have no effect on differential selection of post-fire regrowth, irrespective of feeding style.

Online Link(s):
Klop, Erik; van Goethem, Janneke; de longh, Hans H. 2007. Resource selection by grazing herbivores on post-fire regrowth in a West African woodland savanna. Wildlife Research 34(2):77-83.