Cascading impacts of large-carnivore extirpation in an African ecosystem

March 7, 2019
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The study shows once more the link between herbivores' fear of carnivores and the benefits for vegetation is what ecologists call a "trophic cascade," the term for the impact that meat-eating predators can have on plants.

Historically, the diverse group of predators in Gorongosa were effectively keeping herbivores confined to areas with lower predation risk. The elimination of predators broke the rules that ordinarily govern where herbivores go and what they eat, and that has effects all the way through the food chain.