Slide 27: Preliminary conclusions
So this simple model leads us to the hypothesis (it would need more detailed work to have a more firm conclusion) that contrary to current wisdom, rising CO2 will not necessarily lead to trees taking over from grasses. Just the opposite happens, because the detrimental effects of drying and warming on trees are greater than the benefits of rising CO2. In terms of parks management, grazer and browser numbers could be impacted by climate change towards the second half of the century, under high climate change scenarios, and this would in turn impact carnivores. Elephants are a major factor in the vegetation, and when at a high density, transform the landscape into a stable coppiced state, to the detriment of some other herbivores. Thus, the outcome of climate change induced habitat transformation is to a large extent dependent primarily on management policies and impacts in the arena of fires and elephants. This means that managers can therefore concentrate efforts on these two areas, minimising the required inputs.