Grazing animals and their interrelations and effects on the island ecosystem of the Asinara National Park (Sardinia, Italy)
|title||Grazing animals and their interrelations and effects on the island ecosystem of the Asinara National Park (Sardinia, Italy)|
|publication type||Buch / Monographie / Herausgeberschaft|
|digital object identifier (doi)||DOI: 10.18442/018|
|note||Hildesheim, Univ., Diss. 2018|
Grazing animals alter natural processes by affecting ecosystems and at the same time fulfilling ecosystem functions, thus they are regarded as ecosystem engineers. Effects of grazing are mainly studied in managed systems, where grazing animals are restricted in their movement and thus limited to certain vegetation types. On the island of Asinara the grazing system is now, due to its history as agro-penitentiary, a natural grazing system with donkeys, horses, goats, mouflons and wild boars. This multitude of grazers poses a challenge for the Asinara National Park and its management. Therefore this dissertation takes an interdisciplinary approach to investigate grazing animals and their interrelations with different components of the island ecosystem to analyse their role on the island and evaluate their effects on the biodiversity. The composition and distribution patterns of the five grazing animal species have been investigated in the context of the land-cover types of the island ecosystem. In addition, the input on the vegetation through endozoochorous seed dispersal by donkeys and goats was analysed, and the impact of grazing animals on dung beetle assemblages was studied in three highly frequented vegetation units, taking into account the intensity of use by the grazing animals. The results derived from this work highlight the importance of studying grazing animals and their interrelations within an island ecosystem. Moreover, the insights given in this thesis concerning the interrelations of grazing animals with different components of the island should open up the view on grazers and their multifaceted effects on the biodiversity, thus leading to management implementations for a sound functioning of the island ecosystem as well as the conservation and maintenance of biodiversity.
Dr. rer. nat. Julia Treitler
War Doktorandin am Institut für Biologie und Chemie der Universität Hildesheim.