Megaherbivores: The Influence of Very Large Body Size on Ecology

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Cambridge University Press, 1988 - Всего страниц: 369
The largest land mammals are constrained in their activities by their large body size, a theme that is emphasized in this account of their general ecology. The book begins by raising the question as to why these once abundant and widely distributed 'megaherbivores' - elephants, rhinos, hippos and giraffes - have all but gone extinct, and ends by considering the implications of the answer for the conservation of the remaining populations. Existing megaherbivores are placed in the context of the more numerous species which occurred worldwide until the end of the last Ice Age, and knowledge of the ecology of surviving species is used to analyse the cause of the extinctions. The information and ideas contained in this book are of crucial importance to all concerned with halting the rapidly worsening conservation status of remaining elephant and rhinoceros species, and carries a wider message for those concerned with the ramifying effects of man on ecosystem processes. Graduate students and research scientists in ecology, conservation biology and wildlife management will find this book of value.
 

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Содержание

Prologue
1
Morphology evolutionary history and recent distribution
6
Evolutionary origins and relationships
16
Paleontological diversity
20
Distribution of extant species
21
Food and other habitat resources
30
Water and other habitat needs
45
Comparisons with smaller ungulates
50
Offspring sex ratio
195
Summary
198
Demography
200
Population growth
212
Population density and biomass
221
Comparisons with smaller ungulates
225
Community Interactions
226
Effects on other large herbivores
239

Spacetime patterns of habitat use
53
Utilization of space
61
Comparisons with smaller ungulates
67
Body size and nutritional physiology
69
Metabolic requirements
70
Gut anatomy
71
Food intake and digestion
72
Body size and feeding ecology
82
Foraging time
87
Home range extent
95
summary
98
Social organization and behavior
101
Male dominance relations
109
Courtship and mating
116
Responses to predators
124
Comparisons with smaller ungulates
131
Life history
133
Adolescence and puberty
138
Reproduction by females
144
Reproduction by males
150
Mortality and lifespan
152
Comparisons with smaller ungulates
158
Body size and sociobiology
160
Male dominance systems
167
Female mate choice
177
Summary
179
Body size and reproductive patterns
181
Seasonality of reproduction
183
Age at first conception
185
Birth intervals
186
Maternal investment in reproduction
190
Comparisons with smaller ungulates
245
Body size and population regulation
246
Demographic models
248
Interactions with vegetation
257
Dispersal
260
Summary
264
Body size and ecosystem processes
265
Energy flux
274
Nutrient cycling
277
Ecosystem stability and disturbance
278
Late Pleistocene extinctions
280
Pattern of extinctions
281
Climatic change
284
Human predation
289
The role of megaherbivores
292
Summary
296
Conservation
297
Conservation objectives
298
Problems of overabundance
299
Problems of overexploitation
307
Summary
308
Epilogue the megaherbivore syndrome
309
Social and life history patterns
312
Demographic patterns
313
Community and ecosystem patterns
314
Appendix I
317
Appendix II
325
References
331
Index
364
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