Research Article

Cross-boundary human impacts compromise the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem

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Science  29 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6434, pp. 1424-1428
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav0564

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Threats to the Serengeti

Protected areas are an important tool for conserving biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. But how well do these areas withstand pressure from human activity in surrounding landscapes? Veldhuis et al. studied long-term data from the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in East Africa. Human activities at boundary regions cause animals to concentrate in the core of the protected area, which eventually reduces soil carbon storage and nitrogen fixation rates and increases vulnerability to extreme droughts. Similar patterns are likely for many, if not all, large protected areas.

Science, this issue p. 1424

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