- Nuffield Kariba Research Project, University College of Rhodesia, England
- Department of Zoology, University of Manchester, England
Large mammals that formerly occupied the Kariba basin of the Middle Zambezi Valley have, since it was flooded, been forced to live in a restricted range of deciduous woodland habitats. Feeding records in a study area on the shore of Lake Kariba showed that most herbivore species were browsers, and that only the tree components of their diets varied significantly between vegetation types. The common species varied a proportion of their diet seasonally. However, each depended upon a small range of food staples which differed from those of other species and acted as food refuges for part of the year. Diets overlapped during the wet season because of diversification, and in the late dry season because of common use of a restricted range of plants remaining green. There was a good correlation between the ability of a species to avoid dietary overlap and its biomass in the study area. The chance of interspecific competition occurring increased in the late dry season when most of the species would formerly have migrated from the study area to the flood plain. Despite the enforced occupation of only part of their former annual range the more common herbivores maintained a considerable degree of ecological separation through utilisation of different foods.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics