Bruce McKenzie’s An Ecological Guide to the Bush captures the essence of what makes the bushveld tick. Here you’ll find the basic principles of how ecosystems work, with the emphasis on energy flow through the bushveld and the adaptations that the plants and animals make in facilitating this energy flow.
This book will answer the questions you always wanted to know about:
• Why can zebra and wildebeest, both grass eaters, live happily together? Why does the giraffe only feed on tree leaves?
• Why do large predators have to rest for up to 20 hours a day?
• How much energy does a bird expend flying?
• Why are reptiles mainly carnivores and why do lizards have to rest regularly?
• How important are grasshoppers, dung beetles and other insects to ecosystem functioning?
• Why do small predators need to eat proportionately more than larger predators?
• Why are termites so important for understanding energy flow in the bushveld?
• Why are small leaves necessary in the more arid bushveld areas? What are the nutritional differences between grass and tree leaves?
• How have snakes adapted to an unfavourable body shape?
• Why do very small herbivorous mammals need to consume high quality foods? Why do very large herbivores produce so much poorly digested dung?
The book is based on Bruce’s approach to interacting with students and citizen scientists over the past 40 years and will enrich the understanding of bushveld management and conservation.