Termite mounds as browsing hotspots: an exception to the rule



In African savannas, termite mounds usually serve as browsing hotspots for mammals because of their soil fertility. Van der Plas et al., in this issue, describe that browsers avoid the unpalatable, evergreen tree species on mounds of Macrotermes natalensis in a mesic savanna, preferring mainly leguminous species with high leaf N and P concentrations in the matrix. This exception is probably a consequence of the fertile soils of the study area, and highlights the importance of environmental context for assessing ecological interactions.