Grasses & grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna, by Veronica Roodt

Grasses & grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna, by Veronica Roodt. Penguin Random House South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa 2015. ISBN 9781775841159 / ISBN 978-1-77584-115-9

Grasses & grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna, by Veronica Roodt. Penguin Random House South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa 2015. ISBN 9781775841159 / ISBN 978-1-77584-115-9

An accessible reference to the grasses and grazers of this region, Veronica Roodt’s book, Grasses & grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna, details the fascinating ways in which these plants and animals have evolved together.

Veronica Roodt  

Introduction

Grasses and grazers are diverse and interesting species. Many grasses look superficially alike and may go unnoticed, even by nature lovers, yet they, and their soil substrate, form the basis of almost all ecological processes in nature. This book will take you on a journey, first into the intriguing world of grasses, from their germination to their death, and then into the lives of the grazers that feed on them, focusing on their interactions and interdependence: we know that grazers need grasses to survive, but grasses have evolved along with grazers, on whom they, in their turn, are dependent. Chapter 1 describes the role of grasses in the food chain, outlines some basic grass anatomy and explains how grasses grow. It also clarifies some terminology used in the rest of the book. Chapter 2 describes 98 species of grass that occur in Botswana and the surrounding savanna. The grasses included are those that are preferred fodder species and those that serve as good indicators of veld condition. Grasses are typically low in protein, and Chapter 3 explains how grazers have evolved to survive on this diet and to thrive in the hot, dry climate. Chapter 4 provides species accounts of all the grazers that occur in the region under discussion, while Chapter 5 outlines some veld management principles that may be of particular interest to those responsible for managing veld or farming livestock. Although there are scientific reference books on the subject of range management and the impact of grazers on their food source, this book aims to be an accessible and easy-to-use reference for students at guide schools and wildlife colleges, for game farmers, tourists and nature enthusiasts, and to inspire an appreciation of grasses and an awareness of their critical importance in the ecosystem. The savanna biome is one of the seven major biomes in southern Africa, the others being forest, grassland, Nama karoo, succulent karoo, desert and fynbos. The savanna biome is situated in the more tropical parts of southern Africa. A hot, wet summer season, a cool, dry winter season, well-developed grass cover with scattered trees that vary in density, and prominent termite hills are all typical of this biome. Fire is an important factor in the maintenance of plant cover here.

Introduction to grasses

Grass forms one of the major platforms of the energy cycle (food chain). This cycle begins with plants, the producers, which draw on water and nutrients in the soil, such as nitrogen, and combine them with carbon dioxide, oxygen and sunlight to produce energy. Herbivores, or primary consumers, eat the plants and in turn are fed upon by carnivorous animals, the secondary consumers. When plants and animals die, the decomposers - fungi, protozoa, bacteria and other micro-organisms - feed on them. This decomposition returns nutrients to the soil in a form that plants can absorb. Soil is thus both the substrate in which plants grow and the place where decomposed nutrients are returned to the energy cycle. The most important life-giving elements required by plants, including grasses, are oxygen (O), hydrogen (H), carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). Nitrogen is especially important for building proteins. However, plants and animals cannot use atmospheric nitrogen directly. A plant obtains its nitrogen from the soil, where it occurs as complex organic compounds in dead animals and plants. [...]

This is an excerpt from Grasses & grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna, by Veronica Roodt.

Title: Grasses & grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna
Author: Veronica Roodt
Genre: Mammal Guide
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa 2015
ISBN 9781775841159 / ISBN 978-1-77584-115-9
Softcover, 17 x 24 cm, 344 pages, 600 illustrations

Roodt, Veronica im Namibiana-Buchangebot

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