Serengeti Migratory Wildebeest: Facilitation of Energy Flow by Grazing

Science  09 Jan 1976:
Vol. 191, Issue 4222, pp. 92-94
DOI: 10.1126/science.191.4222.92


Dense concentrations of migratory wildebeest leaving the Serengeti Plains in late May 1974 reduced green plant biomass by almost 400 grams per square meter, 85 percent of the initial standing crop. However, this grazing prevented senescence and stimulated net primary productivity of the grasslands. Thomson's gazelles leaving the plains a month later were significantly associated with areas previously grazed by wildebeest, and this association was still evident at the end of the dry season, 6 months later.