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Regional level risk factors associated with the occurrence of African swine fever in West and East Africa

Background African swine fever (ASF) causes severe socio-economic impacts due to high mortality and trade restrictions. Many risk factors of ASF have been identified at farm level. However, understanding the risk factors, especially wild suid hosts, determining ASF transmission at regional level remains limited. Methods Based on ASF outbreak data in domestic pigs during 2006–2014, ...

Scale-dependent bi-trophic interactions in a semi-arid savanna: how herbivores eliminate benefits of nutrient patchiness to plants

The scale of resource heterogeneity may influence how resources are locally partitioned between co-existing large and small organisms such as trees and grasses in savannas. Scale-related plant responses may, in turn, influence herbivore use of the vegetation. To examine these scale-dependent bi-trophic interactions, we varied fertilizer [(nitrogen (N)/phosphorus (P)/potassium (K)] ...

Deriving Animal Behaviour from High-Frequency GPS: Tracking Cows in Open and Forested Habitat

The increasing spatiotemporal accuracy of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) tracking systems opens the possibility to infer animal behaviour from tracking data. We studied the relationship between high-frequency GNSS data and behaviour, aimed at developing an easily interpretable classification method to infer behaviour from location data. Behavioural observations were ...

Short-Term Effect of Nutrient Availability and Rainfall Distribution on Biomass Production and Leaf Nutrient Content of Savanna Tree Species

Changes in land use may lead to increased soil nutrient levels in many ecosystems (e.g. due to intensification of agricultural fertilizer use). Plant species differ widely in their response to differences in soil nutrients, and for savannas it is uncertain how this nutrient enrichment will affect plant community dynamics. We set up a large controlled short-term experiment in a ...

Species' Life-History Traits Explain Interspecific Variation in Reservoir Competence: A Possible Mechanism Underlying the Dilution Effect

Hosts species for multi-host pathogens show considerable variation in the species' reservoir competence, which is usually used to measure species' potential to maintain and transmit these pathogens. Although accumulating research has proposed a trade-off between life-history strategies and immune defences, only a few studies extended this to host species' reservoir competence. ...

Dilution effect in bovine tuberculosis: risk factors for regional disease occurrence in Africa

Zheng Y. X. Huang Willem F. de Boer Frank van Langevelde Chi Xu Karim Ben Jebara Francesco Berlingieri Herbert H. T. Prins Articles on similar topics can be found in the following collections

Predation Danger Can Explain Changes in Timing of Migration: The Case of the Barnacle Goose

Understanding stopover decisions of long-distance migratory birds is crucial for conservation and management of these species along their migratory flyway. Recently, an increasing number of Barnacle geese breeding in the Russian Arctic have delayed their departure from their wintering site in the Netherlands by approximately one month and have reduced their staging duration at ...

Winter Survival of Individual Honey Bees and Honey Bee Colonies Depends on Level of Varroa destructor Infestation

Background Recent elevated winter loss of honey bee colonies is a major concern. The presence of the mite Varroa destructor in colonies places an important pressure on bee health. V. destructor shortens the lifespan of individual bees, while long lifespan during winter is a primary requirement to survive until the next spring. We investigated in two subsequent years the effects of ...

Increased searching and handling effort in tall swards lead to a Type IV functional response in small grazing herbivores

Understanding the functional response of species is important in comprehending the species’ population dynamics and the functioning of multi-species assemblages. A Type II functional response, where instantaneous intake rate increases asymptotically with sward biomass, is thought to be common in grazers. However, at tall, dense swards, food intake might decline due to mechanical ...

Not only the butterflies: managing ants on road verges to benefit Phengaris (Maculinea) butterflies

Obligate myrmecophilic butterfly species, such as Phengaris (Maculinea) teleius and P. nausithous, have narrow habitat requirements. Living as a caterpillar in the nests of the ant species Myrmica scabrinodis and M. rubra, respectively, they can only survive on sites with both host ants and the host plant Great Burnet Sanguisorba officinalis. After having been reintroduced into a ...

Seasonal diet changes in elephant and impala in mopane woodland

Elephant and impala as intermediate feeders, having a mixed diet of grass and browse, respond to seasonal fluctuations of forage quality by changing their diet composition. We tested the hypotheses that (1) the decrease in forage quality is accompanied by a change in diet from more monocots in the wet season to more dicots in the dry season and that that change is more pronounced ...

Large herbivores may alter vegetation structure of semi-arid savannas through soil nutrient mediation

In savannas, the tree–grass balance is governed by water, nutrients, fire and herbivory, and their interactions. We studied the hypothesis that herbivores indirectly affect vegetation structure by changing the availability of soil nutrients, which, in turn, alters the competition between trees and grasses. Nine abandoned livestock holding-pen areas (kraals), enriched by dung and ...