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Title

Will global change improve grazing quality of grasslands? A call for a deeper understanding of the effects of shifts from C-4 to C-3 grasses for large herbivores

Publication Year

2010

Author(s)
  • Chamaille-Jammes, Simon
  • Bond, William J.
Source
OIKOS Volume: 119 Issue: 12 Pages: 1857-1861 Published: 2010
ISSN
0030-1299
Abstract

The current dramatic increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration favours C-3 versus C-4 photosynthesis, and although other aspects of environmental conditions come into play, it implies an uncertain future for C-4 grasses. If it has been suggested that the poor quality of C-4 grasses contributed to large mammalian herbivores declines as C-4 grasslands spread from the late Miocene, these investigations of the past have not been matched by a similar attention focused on the future implications of C-4 to C-3 shifts. Here we discuss how these may affect grazing systems, also considering other aspects of C-3/C-4 differences (productivity, phenology) which might affect herbivore performance. Current knowledge suggests that important changes in herbivore performance could be observed, but is too fragmentary to allow general quantitative conclusions. We urge plant and herbivore ecologists to collectively address these limitations, as the future of grazing systems has important implications for biodiversity and human livelihoods.

Author Keyword(s)
    KeyWord(s) Plus
    • ATMOSPHERIC CO2
    • ELEVATED CO2
    • SHORTGRASS STEPPE
    • MIOCENE EXPANSION
    • CLIMATE
    • PHOTOSYNTHESIS
    • HYPOTHESIS
    • EVOLUTION
    • FUTURE
    ESI Discipline(s)
    • Environment/Ecology
    Web of Science Category(ies)
    • Ecology
    Adress(es)

    [Chamaille-Jammes, Simon] CNRS, UMR 5175, Ctr Ecol Fonct & Evolut, FR-34293 Montpellier, France; [Bond, William J.] Univ Cape Town, Dept Bot, ZA-7700 Cape Town, South Africa

    Reprint Adress

    Chamaille-Jammes, S (reprint author), CNRS, UMR 5175, Ctr Ecol Fonct & Evolut, 1919 Route Mende, FR-34293 Montpellier, France.

    Country(ies)
    • France
    • South Africa
    CNRS - Adress(es)
    • Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE), UMR5175
    Accession Number
    WOS:000284371000001
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