Symposium: Applying Plant-Herbivore Interactions Theory to Range Management

Prof Fred Provenza of the Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University will be co-presenting the keynote address entitled "Application of plant-herbivore theory to management of rangelands", with Dr Urs Kreuter of Texas A&M University and Dr Richard Eckard of Melbourne University.

Symposium: Applying Plant-Herbivore Interactions Theory to Range Management

Prof Fred Provenza of the Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University will be co-presenting the keynote address entitled "Application of plant-herbivore theory to management of rangelands", with Dr Urs Kreuter of Texas A&M University and Dr Richard Eckard of Melbourne University.
  • What Symposium
  • When Jul 17, 2007 from 08:40 AM to 12:40 PM (Africa/Johannesburg / UTC186)
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The physical and biological complexity inherent in savanna ecosystems increases the productivity, diversity and stability of these systems. This complexity is not only important for ecosystem function, but it has profound influence on the productivity of animal populations that depend on these systems. While in the past much emphasis was placed on physical defences of woody plants in savannas, there is now clear evidence that biochemical interactions among nutrients and toxins can an even more important role in influencing the value of different combinations of foods to animals.

Varied meal patterns stimulate forage consumption and encourage animals to more fully use the range of plants available. However, when choice is limited because plants that contain toxins dominate the landscape, forage consumption may decline with negative consequences for production. Increased diversity enables individual animals to select diets and food patches that allow them to meet their needs, thereby enhancing production. This symposium will explore how grazing can be designed to stimulate foraging and enable animals to optimize nutrient intake while regulating intake of various plant secondary compounds.

We will explore implications for animal performance, production and for sustainable management of rangelands, especially rangelands that are severely affected by bush encroachment where less palatable and chemically defended plants are more likely to dominate.

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