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10th Annual Savanna Science Network Meeting 2012 - Presentations

Monday 5 March 2012
Chair Time Presenter Title
Danie Pienaar


08:00 Botha JM Welcome
08:05 Magome H
Keynote address
08:35 Biggs D
The science of what pays for conservation: a tourism research agenda for South African National Parks
08:50 Phillips G An overview of the development of tourism in SANParks – and the critical need for tourism research to inform both adaptive management and sound business decision making
09:05 Knight AT Is the Big Five everything? Balancing conservation and tourism goals in South African National Parks
09:20 Peake S The science of interpretation – how research can improve interpretation in SANParks to enable the achievement of constituency building, conservation, and tourism objectives
Ecosystem Management
Stefanie Freitag-Ronaldson 09:35 Allison H The influence of personality type on management actions
09:50 Carruthers J Thoughts on the evolution of wildlife management
10:05 Roux D Responding to the poor conservation status and protection levels of freshwater ecosystems: Can SANParks have more impact?
10:20 Smit IPJ, Riddell ES & Cullum C Kruger National Park Research Supersites: Long-term research sites to facilitate cross-disciplinary multi-scale learning in a data-rich environment
10:25 Foxcroft LC Koedoe – African Protected Area Conservation and Science 
  10:30 Tea
Heterogeneity: Characteristics, Implications and Description

Harry Biggs


11:00 Rogers K, Cullum C, Gaylard A et al   What is heterogeneity and why does it matter?
11:15 Kotschy K  &  Rogers KH Understanding the link between biodiversity, redundancy and resilience: an example of how and why heterogeneity matters
11:30 Gaylard A & Rogers KH Implications of heterogeneity for moving elephant science beyond the “Strategy of Hope” in complex systems
11:45 Pollard SR, du Toit D &  Riddell E Contesting linear approaches to systemic issues of freshwater degradation and the emergence of feedback and self organisation 
12:00 Cullum C & Rogers KH Using landscape classification within complex, heterogeneous systems
12:15 Staver AC, Schertzer E, Archibald S et al  Fire spread as percolation: generalizing across heterogeneous landscapes in Kruger National Park
Poster MacFadyen S, Hui C & Verburg P Linking long-term landscape heterogeneity patterns to changes of ecosystem processes in the Kruger National Park, South Africa
  12:30 Lunch
Invasive Aliens - Impacts and Responses
Cathy Greaver


14:00 Foxcroft LC, Spear D, McGeoch MA et al  Potential pathways and impacts of alien plant invasions in South African National Parks
14:15 te Beest M, Esler KJ, & Richardson DM Ecosystem-level impacts of a woody invader in a protected savanna reserve
14:30 Gorgone Barbosa E, Pivello VR  & Fidelis AT Management alternatives for an invasive African grass, Melinis minutiflora, in Brazilian savannas
Herbivores as Drivers of Patterns
Rina Grant


14:35 Teren G, Owen-Smith N & Erasmus BFN Tree mortality caused by extreme elephant impact: is spatial heterogeneity maintained over time
14:50 Shannon G, Thaker M, Vanak AT et al  Relative impacts of elephant and fire on large trees in Kruger National Park
15:05 Lagendijk G & Slotow R The effect of rainfall, elephant and fire on woody height class distributions in South African savannas
15:10 Swemmer A & Chirima J Will elephant impacts reduce the low diversity of the tree layer in the Mopaneveld of the Kruger National Park?
15:25 Prins HHT Insights from artificial grazing lawns in Welgevonden Private GR
  15:40 Cromsigt JPM & te Beest M Do white rhino increase resource heterogeneity in KNP’s savanna grasslands?
  15:55 Baumgartner S, Treydte A, Grant CC Grazers and browsers as landscape designers inside and outside Kruger National Park 
  Poster Burkepile DE, Burns CE, Zinn AD et al  Habitat selection by large herbivores in a southern African savanna: Assessing the relative roles of bottom-up and top-down processes
  Poster Miranda M & Parrini F Measuring direct and indirect plant-herbivore interactions in a changing world: a network approach 
  18:30 Gala Dinner Skukuza Golf Club: Registered delegates
Tuesday 6 March 2012
Multiple Perspectives on Wildlife Economy
Duan Biggs 08:00 Varghese G Commercialisation & Public Private Partnerships in SANParks – a critical role for research
08:15 de Witt L,  van der Merwe P &  Saayman ML Responsible tourism in South African National Parks: a tourists’ perspective
08:30 Spenceley A Understanding community benefits from tourism to National Parks – an overview of research to date and an agenda for the future
08:45 Child B, Musengezi J, Parent G et al How institutions have addressed market and revolutionized the wildlife economy in drylands
09:00 Coetzer KL, Erasmus BFN &  Witkowski ETF Biosphere Reserves: Bureaucratic label or sustainable landscapes?
Herbaceous Vegetation Patterns
Michele Hofmeyr 09:15 Dohn J, Hanan NP, Dembélé F et al Tree effects on grass growth in savannas: Competition or facilitation?
09:30 Siebert F Contrasting relationships between perennial plant species diversity and biomass in the herbaceous layer of sodic zones along the Sabie River
09:45 van Coller H, Siebert F & Siebert S Herbaceous plant species diversity turnover across various herbivory and fire treatments along the sodic zone of the Nkuhlu exclosures, Kruger National Park
09:50 Smith MD, Knapp AK, Collins SL et al  Divergence in savanna grassland community responses to fire and grazing in North America and South Africa
10:05 Gosling C, Cromsigt JPMG, Mpanza N et al  Effects of Erosion from Mounds of Different Termite Genera on Distinct Functional Grassland Types in an African Savannah
10:10 Fidelis A, Bautista S & Pivello VR Are wet grasslands resilient to fire? An example of the Brazilian humid savanna
10:15 Meirelles ST, Pivello VR, Melo ACG et al    The invasion of a Brazilian savanna by African grasses according to vegetation structure and road distance
  10:20 Tea
Patterns of and Impacts to Woody Vegetation
Sandra MacFayden
10:40 Scogings P Woody species on crests and footslopes at the Nkuhlu exclosures respond differently to large herbivores
10:45 Smith A, Page B & Slotow R Local and range level limiting factors of two sympatric large savanna trees
10:50 Nippert JB & Swemmer  AM Ecohydrologic mechanisms of Mopane in the Kruger National Park
POSTER Edelin C & Chamaillé-Jammes S Do we know how trees grow in height? Questions raised by an architectural analysis of Acacia species growth
Mammalian Patterns
Sam Ferreira 11:05 Funston PJ, Groom R & Jackson CR Low lion abundance as a result of anthropogenic mortality: is there evidence for a cascading effect on the large predator guild through reduced inter-specific competition?  
11:20 Van Hooft P, Keet D & Bastos A Social structure and dispersal in the Kruger lions analysed by population genetic techniques
11:25 Maruping N, Funston PJ, Ferreira SM et al  Bovine tuberculosis as an extrinsic driver of lion home range variability
11:40 Getz WM, Bellan S, Cizauskas C et al  Disease Ecology of Anthrax in Etosha National Park
11:55 Turner WC, Versveld WD, Kilian W et al   Synergistic effects of seasonal rainfall, parasites and demography on fluctuations in springbok body condition
POSTER Jansen H & Parrini F Behavioural asynchrony in two non-dimorphic group living ungulate species
Species Management
Louise Swemmer 12:00 Graf JA, Gosling CM, Weilenmann M et al  Human-Wildlife conflict and “problem” animal Translocations: Evaluation of leopard and lion translocations into Khutse and Central Kalahari Game Reserves
12:05 Groom RJ & Funston PJ The impact of lions on wild dogs: How management decisions can influence species demographics
12:10 Scheiss-Meier M, Gabanapelo T & Gosling C Livestock Predation - Insights from Problem Animal Control Registers in Botswana
12:15 Traill LW & Coulson  T Generalised ungulate models and outcomes for conservation
12:20 Murn C, Potter L, Botha A et al  Raptor real estate in KNP: conservation and management in a changing world
12:35 Coetzee BWT & Chown SL Protected Area ecological performance: a focus on avifauna in the Kruger National Park
POSTER van der Merwe I & Stehle T A scientific basis for protecting woodlands through control over activities affecting protected trees and woodlands under the National Forests Act of 1998
POSTER Taylor RW, Marshall T & Thompson DI Pl@ntInvasive-Kruger: Developing an online alien plant database and identification platform
  12:40 Lunch  
Benefit Sharing & Ecosystem Services
Marna Herbst 14:00 Swemmer LK,  Annecke W, Biggs H Towards effective benefit sharing in South African National Parks
14:15 Annecke W, Bezuidenhout H, Ellis G et al  Monitoring plant species and socio-economic impacts of Mier and ǂKhomani San access to the Kalahari Gemsbok Park in the KTP 
14:30 Nortje K & Claassen M In betwixt and between ecosystem services and human benefits – lessons from Venda
14:45 Grant R, Biggs D & Biggs R  Healthy Parks - Healthy People: The role of ecosystem services
15:00 Mander M, McKean S  & Porter R KwaZulu-Natal Protected Area Ecosystem Services Assessment
15:15 Vickers K & Kruger L Ecosystem services in the Kruger National Park: fertile grounds for breeding elephants, roan, and South African scientists
15:30 Smart K, Archibald S, Reyers B et al     Can you maximise carbon and water ecosystem services in dryland ecosystems? An application of a landscape photosynthetic model in the Eastern Cape of South Africa
15:45 Andersen AN, Richards A & Scheepers K Savanna fire management and Indigenous livelihoods: the Tiwi Carbon Study I
Savanna burning and the Tiwi fire experiment 
16:00 Scheepers K, Andersen AN & Richards A Savanna fire management and Indigenous livelihoods: the Tiwi Carbon Study II
Emissions abatement and Indigenous livelihoods 
  18:30 Dinner Skukuza Golf Club: Registered delegates
Wednesday 7 March 2012
Groundwater & Evapotranspiration
Llewellyn Foxcroft 08:00 Petersen R, Nel JM & February E Investigating the relationship between rainfall, surface-water and groundwater in the Kruger National Park
08:15 Riddell ES, Nel J, Lorentz SA et al  A Conceptual Framework for Connectivity within Savanna Landscapes: Determining the Hydrological Abiotic Template in the Kruger National Park Supersites
08:20 van Niekerk A, Nel J & Petersen R Infiltration rates and groundwater recharge mechanisms associated with different soil types in Kruger National Park
08:25 Grundling P, van den Berg HM, Grundling AT et al  Kruger National Parks wetland distribution and their role in the park’s hydrological cycle
POSTER Palmer AR, Finca A, Weideman C et al   Has the high elephant population in Addo benefitted the citrus farmers? Modelling the evapotranspiration in the Addo Elephant National Park using the Penman-Monteith equation and MODIS LAI
Water Quality
Dirk Roux 08:30 Palmer T, Griffin N, Pollard S et al How do we implement water quality aspects of the ecological reserve – and how does this contribute to freshwater conservation a  multi-use catchment: the Crocodile River?
08:45 Woodborne S, Huchzermeyer KDA, Govender D et al  Ecosystem change and the Olifants River crocodile mass mortality events
09:00 Huchzermeyer KDA Fat necrosis in fish: Relevance of hydrodynamic change and pollution to the aquatic food chain in the Kruger National Park, South Africa
09:15 Vlok W, Fouché P & Cook C Frogs and acid rain – is there a threat in the Kruger National Park?
09:20 Baade J Sediment yield in the Kruger National Park, South Africa – A comparison
09:25 Wagenaar GM, Smith WC & Smit NJ The health status of the tigerfish Hydrocynus vittatus in two rivers in the Kruger National Park using histology as a bio-monitoring tool
09:30 Wepener V, Smit NJ, Van Vuren JHJ et al  How relevant is bioaccumulation as a montoring tool of pollutants in the rivers of the Kruger National Park?
POSTER Wagenaar GM, Smith WC & Smit NJ Histology as a bio-monitoring tool to assess the health status of selected fish species in the Luvuvhu and Olifants rivers in the KNP
POSTER Baade J The remobilization of nutrients from reservoir deposits – A laboratory assessment
POSTER Farquharson C, Wepener V & Vlok W Determining the pH tolerances of 2 frog species, Chiromantis Xerampelina (Southern foam nest frog) and Pyxicepahuls Edulis (African bullfrog), from the Kruger National Park
POSTER Vlok W, Renshaw C, Smit N et al  An investigation on the effect of environmental aspects on the biological communities of the Olifants and Luvuvhu rivers in the KNP
POSTER Conradie EH,  Pienaar JJ, Beukes JP Statistical evaluation of the chemical composition of rainwater at Skukuza
POSTER Mohlala TD, Swemmer AM, Vlok W et al  How frequent should a river be monitored? Intensive long-term water quality monitoring of the lower Olifants River 
Freshwater Heterogeneity: Management and Methods
Robin Petersen 09:35 Rivers-Moore NA & Turak E Do widely used surrogates of River biodiversity capture spatial patterns in species richness and compositional turnover?
09:50 Grundling P, Grootjans AP, Bootsma A et al   Erosion of the Matlabas Mire – natural or induced: implications for conservation management in the Marakele National Park
POSTER O’Brien GC, Burnette M & Wepener V Monitoring the behavior of aquatic organisms using remote and manual biotelemetry monitoring systems in the Crocodile River, Kruger National Park
POSTER van Vuren JHJ, Wepener V, Smit NJ et al   Biomarkers of pollution in tigerfish, Hydrocynus vittatu
POSTER Smit NJ, O’Brien GC, Hughes D Multi-disciplinary approach using modelling and fish community structure analyses to evaluate flow dependent habitat requirements of fishes in the Olifants River, KNP
  10:05 Tea
Remote Sensing Tools for Vegetation Structure and Biomass Mapping
Izak Smit 10:50 Khalefa E, Archibald S, Balzter H et al  Mapping of vegetation canopy height in Kruger National Park from spaceborne LIDAR data acquired by ICESAT-GLAS
11:05 Colgan MS, Asner GP & Swemmer AM  Tree-level airborne biomass estimation to improve KNP biomass and carbon mapping
11:20 Nickless A, King Stuart, Scholes RJ et al   A ground-based Lidar approach to measuring tree biomass in southern Africa 
11:35 Schmullius C, Dalla Valle N, Annegarn H et al  The SARvanna Project: SAR Mapping of Vegetation Structure in Kruger National Park 1994 versus 2010 – Progress with multitemporal ALOS PALSAR Monitoring
11:50 Muñoz-Carpena R, Kiker G  & Coughenour M Exploring potential Kruger National Park ecosystem management outcomes with the SAVANNA model and global uncertainty and sensitivity analysis.
12:05 Sinden L, Scholes RJ, Verstraete MM et al  Patterns of tree and grass leaf display in the Lowveld revealed by a new MISR dataset 
12:20 Fisher JT, Erasmus BFN, Witkowski ETF et al  Developing and testing a functional vegetation structural classification 
  12:35 Lunch
Afternoon Free Time
  18:30 Cheese & Wine Poster Session Skukuza Golf Club
  18:30 Dinner Skukuza Golf Club: Registered delegates
Thursday 8 March 2012
Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Woody Vegetation
Greg Asner 08:00 Asner GP & Levick SR Elephant-mediated treefall dynamics from 2008-2010 in Kruger National Park
08:15 Wessels K, Erasmus BFN, Mathieu R  et al High rates of large trees loss in Sabi-Sand Game Reserve and neighbouring communal rangelands: Impacts of elephants, fire and humans
08:30 Peel MJS, de Boer F van Oort J et al  Big tree trends in protected areas adjacent to the Kruger National Park
08:45 Mograbi P, Roller J, Parrini F et al  Long-term changes in mopane woodland vegetation structure: A case study of the Linyanti region, Botswana
09:00 Stevens N, Erasmus BFN, Archibald S et al  Woody cover change in the north-east arid savannas of South Africa from 1940-present
09:15 Wigley BJ, Fritz H & Bond WJ A contrast of the woody communities and plant traits inside and outside of three long term exclosures in Kruger National Park
09:30 Stirzaker R Changes in tree cover in Southern and West African savannas
09:45 Levick SR, Asner GP & Smit IPJ Spatial variation in vegetation structural responses to fire
10:00 Smit IPJ & Asner GP Roads increase woody cover under varying geological, rainfall and fire regimes in African savanna
10:15 Saunders J, Twine W & Erasmus BFN Patterns and drivers of long term spatio-temporal change in woody vegetation cover in a South African rural savanna landscape
POSTER Taylor JM & Smit GN Analysis of aerial and fixed-point photographs to show trends in woody plant thickening
POSTER Hall G, Woodborne S, Hofmeyr M et al  Climate Change records from Baobabs: ethical considerations
  10:30 Tea
Resource Use
Wendy Annecke 11:00 Rutherford MC, Powrie LW & Thompson DI Are communal grazing lands necessarily degraded? Unexpected answers from the Mopane (and other) Bioregion of South Africa
11:15 Matsika R, Twine W & Erasmus B Fuelwood, rural energy security and ecological (un)sustainability in Bushbuckridge
11:30 Tredennick AT, Hanan NP, Bucini G et al   Patterns and sustainability of rural fuelwood demand in sub-saharan africa
11:45 Twine WC, Erasmus BFN, Collinson MA et al  Relationships between the local environment, household resource use, and human well-being in a rural district west of the Kruger National Park 
12:00 Gardiner A, Midzi S, Sowry R et al   The Ecology of Mopane Worms (Imbrasia belina) & their utilization in Kruger National Park
POSTER Child B, Barnes G, Thapa B et al  Transforming CBNRM Education in southern Africa
  12:15 Lunch  
Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Herbivores
Angela Gaylard 14:00 Birkett PJ, Vanak AT, Ferreira SM et al   Animal perception of seasonal thresholds: Changes in elephant movement in relation to rainfall patterns
14:15 Chamaillé-Jammes S, Valeix M & Fritz H Elephant space use in Hwange NP: a 2 year survey in a waterhole-driven area
14:30 Owen-Smith N Contrasting activity patterns of grazing ungulates derived from GPS telemetry data
14:45 Yoganand K & Owen-Smith N Collapsed migration of central-western Kruger subpopulation of blue wildebeest
15:00 Shrestha AK, van Wieren SE,  Fuller A et al  Rhythms of movement: daily and seasonal micro-habitat selection of eland (Taurotragus oryx)
15:05 Davies AB, Levick SR, Asner GP et al  Spatial characteristics of termite mounds in southern African savannas
POSTER Vanak AT, Fortin D, Thaker M et al  Behavioural mechanisms of intraguild dominance between lion and African wild dog at multiple spatial and temporal scales
POSTER Tambara E & Kativu S Butterflies and beetles: Biodiversity change under agricultural intensification in the mid-Zambezi valley, northern Zimbabwe
POSTER Tredennick AT, Hanan NP & Bentley LP Scaling the savannas: Does metabolic scaling theory apply in savannas?
POSTER Martin J, Benhamou S, Yoganand K et al   Multi-scale spatial dynamic of resource use by wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) in west-central Kruger National Park
  18:30 Dinner
Skukuza Golf Club: Registered delegates only
Friday 9 March 2012
Nutrients and Climate as Drivers of Heterogenous Patterns
Judith Botha 08:00 Bond WJ & Midgley G Increasing atmospheric CO2 and vegetation change in savannas
08:15 Buitenwerf R, Bond WJ, Stevens N et al  Increased tree densities in South African savannas: >50 years of data suggests CO2 as a driver
08:30 Coetsee C, Wakeling J & Wigley BJ Changes in fine root biomass with woody encroachment affects soil carbon in an African savanna
08:35 Nickless A, Woodborne S,  Archibald S   Dry season carbon leakage in Mopane veld - why? 
08:40 Woolley L, Hedin L, February E et al  Ecosystem level N and P effects on savanna structure and function
08:55 February E, Lane W, Wooley L et al   Relationship between increased nitrogen deposition and herbivore dynamics in the Kruger National Park
09:10 Koduganti P, Woodborne S, Gort G et al   Nitrogen Uptake and redistribution by savanna trees: Implications for tree-grass interactions
09:25 Seydack AHW, Grant CC, Smit IPJ et al  Regulation of large herbivore population performance in the Kruger National Park: the role of climate effects
Wrap-up and Closure
  09:30 Stirzaker R Wrap-up
  09:45 Freitag-Ronaldson S Thanks and Closure