, Volume 146, Issue 4, pp 632-640
Date: 11 Oct 2005

Defining herbivore assemblages in the Kruger National Park: a correlative coherence approach

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Abstract

Spatial associations of seven herbivore species in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, are analyzed using a new technique, Correlative Coherence Analysis (CoCA). CoCA is a generalization of the concept of correlation to more than two sequences of numbers. Prior information on the feeding ecology and metabolic requirements of these species is used to contrast spatial scales at which hypothesized guild aggregation or competition occurs. These hypotheses are tested using 13 years of aerial census data collected during the dry season. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that distributions of large and small species of the same feeding type (i.e., grazers and browsers) overlap in potentially resource-rich areas, but have lower similarity values across all areas because the higher tolerance of large species for low quality foods results in a more even spatial distribution of large species compared to small species.

Communicated by Thomas Miller