Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species

ISSN: 2332-2543

Open Access

Biodiversity and the African Savanna: Problems of Definition and Interpretation


Michael O’Neal Campbell

This article examines the various theoretical frameworks and paradigm tools in ecological methods that have been developed to analyze the structure of the African savanna. These are based on the new disequilibrium ecology paradigm, (in contrast to the classical ecology paradigm), which sees the savanna as in continual flux rather than sable equilibrium, and attempt to answer questions concerning socio-environmental relations and environmental change. This topic is crucial to the study of biodiversity and endangered species, as the savanna may be intermediate between forest and desert, and may be the habitat of numerous forest and desert species. The savanna is an ecosystem in its own right and also results from the processes of deforestation, desertification and extinction. The results of the review support the hypothesis that the complexity of the African savanna precludes the usage of classical equilibrium ecology, and the integrated research methods provide a useful basis for the advancement of biodiversity studies for the practical applications of comparative evaluation, measurement of multidirectional change and long-term assessment.


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