Infographic: Herbivore Dung Nutrients Vary Across the Savanna
Infographic: Herbivore Dung Nutrients Vary Across the Savanna

Infographic: Herbivore Dung Nutrients Vary Across the Savanna

In South Africa, the composition of droppings varies by species’ body sizes, and which animals are found where depends on vegetation density.

Catherine Offord
Catherine Offord
Nov 1, 2020

Areas with denser vegetation and thus lower visibility (left) are more likely to be frequented by larger animals—which have less to fear from predators—than by smaller animals, according to a recent study. Compared with smaller herbivores such as impala, large herbivores such as elephants and rhinos produce dung with relatively lower phosphorus content. These differences in dung are associated with variable availability of nutrients for plants growing in the savanna, the researchers found, suggesting that the animals’ body sizes could influence ecosystem functioning.

© Melanie Lee

Read the full story.