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Termitaria are focal feeding sites for large ungulates in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda

Authors

  • Ragnhild Mobæk,

    1. Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas, Norway
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  • Anne Kjersti Narmo,

    1. Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas, Norway
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  • Stein R. Moe

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas, Norway
      All correspondence to: Stein R. Moe. E-mail: stein.moe@umb.no
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All correspondence to: Stein R. Moe. E-mail: stein.moe@umb.no

Abstract

In constructing large vegetated mounds, Macrotermes termites play a key functional role in many African savanna systems. This study focuses on ungulate feeding on Macrotermes termitaria vegetation in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda. With the exception of oribi Ourebia ourebi, all the species studied (i.e. impala Aepyceros melampus, Burchell's zebra Equus burchelli, Defassa waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus, topi Damaliscus lunatus, bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus and warthog Phacochoerus africanus) grazed preferentially on mound areas compared to the adjacent savanna. Ruminant species grazed closer to termitaria than non-ruminants and female impala both browsed and grazed closer to mounds than males. No sexual difference in grazing distance to mounds was found for waterbuck.

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Ancillary