Research shows accelerating degradation of vegetation in the Mara ecosystem

The Mara ecosystem is heavily threatened, but conservation management can counteract negative trends. This is one of the conclusions of the newly published research article by an international team of researchers, all members of the research network of the Maasai Mara Science and Development Initiative.

2020.01.17 | Pernille Kallehave

Photo: Wang Li

The article Accelerating savanna degradation threatens the Maasai Mara socio-ecological system was published in January 2020 in Science Direct.

Highlights

Massive and accelerating degradation and fragmentation of natural vegetation with the expansion of bare ground was observed in the unprotected land in Mara ecosystem. Directional change was minimal in the fully protected national reserve. Vegetation resistance to drought was lowest on unprotected land, intermediate under community-based conservation and highest under full protection. The Mara ecosystem is heavily threatened, but conservation management can counteract negative trends. Semi-protected community-based land-sharing conservation offers clear, partial buffering against degradation.

Authors are:

Postdoc Wang LiBIOCHANGE, Aarhus University and associated with the State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Associate Professor Robert BuitenwerfBIOCHANGE, Aarhus University.

PhD student Michael MunkBIOCHANGE, Aarhus University.

CEO, PhD Irene Amoke, Kenya Wildlife Trust

GIS expert Peder Klith Bøcher BIOCHANGE, Aarhus University.

Professor Jens-Christian SvenningBIOCHANGE, Aarhus University.

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