Plants eaten by the savannah elephant in the Cape Floristic Region, part 2

continued from part 1:

UNDERGROUND PARTS OF PLANTS

Trees:

Herbaceous plants:

NON-INDIGENOUS PLANTS (*boles broken and bark stripped and eaten, in addition to the foliage and fruits being eaten)

RIPE/MATURE FLESHY FRUITS (*found germinating in faeces of L. africana)

Indigenous:

  • Solanum linnaeanum*
  • Rapanea melanophloeos*
  • Celastraceae: Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus (mainly those fallen to the ground), Maytenus acuminata and Elaeodendron croceum* https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/557692-Elaeodendron-croceum
  • Ilex mitis
  • Searsia chirindensis and possibly S. lucida
  • Burchellia bubalina

Non-indigenous:

MATURE LEGUMINOUS PODS

Indigenous:

Non-indigenous:

  • Acacia melanoxylon (ripe pods with arils, the latter in some cases still bright-hued when seen in faeces)
  • Acacia mearnsii (ripe pods with arils, the latter in some cases still bright-hued when seen in faeces)

Koen (1983) also recorded seeds of Acacia melanoxylon and Acacia mearnsi occasionally germinating in feces of L. africana.


Defensive adaptations in the above species:

Searsia chirindensis has spines not among the foliage but along the branches, which would hinder the gross damage of the shrub by L. africana.(https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/67388304 and https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/62178427 and https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/96341485).

Scutia myrtina https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/102906771 and https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/92336274 and https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/98495378

Canthium inerme https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canthium_inerme#/media/File:Canthium_inerme_-_Cape_Town_2.JPG

Passerina: the 'bark' is so flexible and resistant to breakage that it was used as cordage (rope) (e.g. see http://pza.sanbi.org/passerina-corymbosa). This can be interpreted as a defence against L. africana.

to be continued...

Posted by milewski milewski, January 15, 2022 03:35 AM

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