Ryan L Sensenig

Ryan L Sensenig
Goshen College · Biology

PhD Ecology, UC Davis

About

17
Publications
4,110
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536
Citations
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January 2016 - March 2017
Goshen College
Position
  • Chair

Publications

Publications (17)
Article
Full-text available
Fire, herbivores, and climatic factors are all major drivers of savanna and grassland dynamics, and they interact in complex ways, which are still in the process of being explored. In particular, herbivores can reduce fire intensity by removal of biomass, and this could be reinforced by herbivores’ attraction to recently burned sites, although gras...
Article
Full-text available
Grassland and savanna ecosystems, important for both livelihoods and biodiversity conservation, are strongly affected by ecosystem drivers such as herbivory, fire, and drought. Interactions among fire, herbivores and vegetation produce complex feedbacks in these ecosystems, but these have rarely been studied in the context of fuel continuity and re...
Article
Full-text available
1.Savanna tree cover is dynamic due to disturbances such as fire and herbivory. Frequent fires can limit a key demographic transition from sapling to adult height classes in savanna trees. Saplings may be caught in a ‘fire trap’, wherein individuals repeatedly resprout following fire top‐kill events. Saplings only rarely escape the cycle by attaini...
Article
Full-text available
Large mammalian herbivores (LMH) are known to suppress populations of small mammals in African savanna ecosystems; whether this suppression is driven by depletion of nutrients and food resources, or of cover, is poorly understood. Cattle management creates scattered, persistent, nutrient-enriched areas (glades). Similarly, prescribed fire may enhan...
Article
Full-text available
Although disturbance theory has been recognized as a useful framework in examining the stability of ant-plant mutualisms, very few studies have examined the effects of fire disturbance on these mutualisms. In myrmecophyte-dominated savannas, fire and herbivory are key drivers that could influence ant-plant mutualisms by causing complete colony mort...
Article
Full-text available
Both wild and prescribed fire in savanna ecosystems influence habitat use by herbivores by creating or maintaining spatial and temporal heterogeneity in forage quality and vegetation cover. Yet little is known about how spatial scales influence long-term persistence of fire effects. We examined changes over a 6-year period in herbivore preference f...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Whether suppression of small mammals by abundant wild and domestic ungulates in savanna ecosystems of Kenya is driven by depletion of nutrients and food resources; or depletion of cover by grazing, browsing and trampling; is poorly understood. We used two replicated large-herbivore exclosure experiments, one each on red sandy loam and black-cotton...
Article
Full-text available
Disturbance is a crucial determinant of animal abundance, distribution, and community structure in many ecosystems, but ways in which multiple disturbance types interact remain poorly understood. The effects of multiple-disturbance interactions can be additive, sub-additive, or super-additive (synergistic). Synergistic effects in particular can acc...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the importance of fire and herbivory in structuring savanna systems, few replicated experiments have examined the interactive effects of herbivory and fire on plant dynamics. In addition, the effects of fire on associated ant-tree mutualisms have been largely unexplored. We carried out small controlled burns in each of 18 herbivore treatmen...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the importance of fire and herbivory in structuring savanna systems, few replicated experiments have examined the interactive effects of herbivory and fire on plant dynamics. In addition, the effects of fire on associated ant-tree mutualisms have been largely unexplored. We carried out small controlled burns in each of 18 herbivore treatmen...
Article
Full-text available
Although livestock and wildlife share most of their ranges worldwide, little controlled experimental research has been done on their interactions. Since 1995 we have been manipulating the presence of cattle and large wild ungulates in a Kenyan savanna rangeland in order to better understand the nature of competition and coexistence between these tw...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Spatial scaling laws have taken a prominent role in both theoretical and empirical efforts to explain species coexistence whereby smaller bodied animals are predicted to perceive landscape grain at finer scales than larger bodied animals. Despite the longstanding assertion that spatial heterogeneity in grass quality an...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods In East Africa, fire and grazing by wild and domestic ungulates maintain savannas, and pastoralists historically set fires and herded livestock through the use of temporary corrals called bomas. In recent decades traditional pastoral practices have declined, and this may be affecting biodiversity. We investigated the e...
Article
In East Africa fire and grazing by wild and domestic ungulates maintain savannas, and pastoralists historically set fires and herded livestock through the use of temporary corrals called bomas. In recent decades traditional pastoral practices have declined, and this may be affecting biodiversity. We investigated the effects of prescribed fires and...
Article
Full-text available
The high herbivore diversity in savanna systems has been attributed to the inherent spatial and temporal heterogeneity related to the quantity and quality of food resources. Allometric scaling predicts that smaller-bodied grazers rely on higher quality forage than larger-bodied grazers. We replicated burns at varying scales in an East African savan...
Article
Full-text available
To alleviate poverty in developing countries, economies must grow. Without the necessary investments in human capital, national economic growth may not lead to poverty alleviation and socioeconomic development, nor be sustainable. Economic growth that leads to poverty alleviation is fueled by the creative and physical capacities of people. The impa...
Article
Full-text available
To alleviate poverty in developing countries, economies must grow. Without the necessary invest- ments in human capital, national economic growth may not lead to poverty alleviation and socioeconomic development, nor be sustainable. Economic growth that leads to poverty alleviation is fueled by the creative and physical capacities of people. The im...