Field measurements of damage to woody plant species, plant biomass and population changes, fire extent and its influence on mortality, elephant or other herbivore population changes, and other such variables can provide clues to the plausible causes of vegetation change. These are not usually sufficient in themselves to provide a complete understanding of the demography of plant populations. Simulation modeling based on the field empirical data can greatly strengthen our understanding of the elephant-vegetation dynamics. Apart from the test of the limit cycle model, several other modeling approaches using field measurements have been published. I trace the salient features of these models and their verdicts on the role of various agents on vegetation change in semiarid African habitats.
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