Loss of elephants, megaherbivores could lead to rapid environmental changes: Study

According to a new research loss of megaherbivores such as elephants and hippos could allow woody plants, non-grassy herbs and flowering plants to encroach the grasslands in African national parks.

The study used isotopes in hippopotamus teeth to find a shift in the diet of hippos over the course of a decade in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park following widespread elephant poaching in the 1970s.

Study first author Kendra Chritz said that her method of using hippo enamel isotopes could help scientists reconstruct past changes in vegetation in Africa’s national parks, areas with relatively little ongoing scientific observation.

Source: September 13, 2016, Business Standard