About the book
Herbivores are organisms that mostly feed on plants to meet their energy requirements. They have specialized digestive systems that enable them to digest a wide variety of plant types including grasses. Herbivores range in size from tiny insects such as aphids to large elephants. They play important ecological roles through their different foraging mechanisms as grazers, browsers, detritivores, folivores, frugivores, and granivores. For instance, herbivores can influence savanna structure through seed and seedling herbivory as well as seed dispersal.
This book will examine the role of vertebrate and invertebrate herbivores in shaping ecosystems such as the savanna. In addition, the role of herbivores in ecosystems that are increasingly affected by anthropogenic factors and climate change will be explored. Large herbivores are being lost in and around protected areas affecting the functioning of these ecosystems. For example, the replacement of multiple herbivore feeding guilds by grazers alone alters tree seedling recruitment patterns.