chapter  26
16 Pages

Social and Environmental Changes in Global Savannas: Linking Social Variables to Biophysical Dynamics

ByMatthew D. Turner

Savanna environments have a long history of the human occupation. Given this history, savanna structure and function are shaped by past and present human land uses (Bird and Cali, 1998). In many areas of the world, it is difficult to understand savanna dynamics without understanding human institutions and land-use practices. Fire, grazing, farming, nontimber product extraction, and logging are all the activities that have significant effects on savannas over extensive areas of the world (Wilson, 1989; Fairhead and Leach, 1996; Bassett and Zueli, 2000). Moreover, these interactions and their impacts are highly variable across space and time.