Lutra 47(1)_Hoffmann_Book Review_2004

Book review: Herbivores as mediators

Herbivores as mediators of their environment. The impact of large and small species on vegetation dynamics. E.S. Bakker 2003. PhD thesis. Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. 184 pp. ISBN 90-5808- 878-2.

This PhD thesis deals with three herbivorous mammals (cattle, rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and common vole (Microtus arvalis)) and their impact on vegetation and vegetation constituents of a cool temperate alluvial grassland system (Junner Koeland). Quite some impact determinants are treated, such as plant consumption, treading, burying activity (gap creation), defecation, nutrient redistribution, endozoochory, (perceived) predation and herbivore interactions. Those who expected a book on mammals will be disappointed, only one of the chapters departs from the animal as response variable, all the others actually have vegetation and its constituents as responding subject. But as such many aspects are covered, none of them exhaustively though........