Skip to main content

Serengeti III

Human Impacts on Ecosystem Dynamics

Serengeti III

Human Impacts on Ecosystem Dynamics

Serengeti National Park is one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, a natural laboratory for ecology, evolution, and conservation, with a history that dates back at least four million years to the beginnings of human evolution. The third book of a ground- breaking series, Serengeti III is the result of a long-term integrated research project that documents changes to this unique ecosystem every ten years.       
Bringing together researchers from a wide range of disciplines—ecologists, paleontologists, economists, social scientists, mathematicians, and disease specialists— this volume focuses on the interactions between the natural system and the human-dominated agricultural system. By examining how changes in rainfall, wildebeest numbers, commodity prices, and human populations have impacted the Serengeti ecosystem, the authors conclude that changes in the natural system have affected human welfare just as changes in the human system have impacted the natural world. To promote both the conservation of biota and the sustainability of human welfare, the authors recommend community-based conservation and protected-area conservation. Serengeti III presents a timely and provocative look at the conservation status of one of earth’s most renowned ecosystems.  

512 pages | 50 halftones, 65 line drawings, 37 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2008

Biological Sciences: Ecology, Natural History


“This book builds on the previous two volumes on the Serengeti ecosystem. The first volume, Serengeti: The Dynamics of an Ecosystem synthesizes the previous twenty years of research on herbivore-carnivore population dynamics and vegetation-herbivore systems. The second, Serengeti II updates information on ecosystem dynamics, conservation, and changes brought about by a growing population of pastoralists and agriculturalists surrounding the Serengeti. Serengeti III focuses on major changes taking place in this ecosystem and their impact on the future, intensified by the growing human population near the protected area. In sixteen multiauthored chapters, ecologists, paleontologists, epidemiologists, economists, social scientists, and mathematicians report on a program that integrates socioeconomic research and decision making with ecological research. The goal is to develop a better understanding of the feedback loop between natural and human components of the Serengeti ecosystem. This work is best studied in the context of the other two volumes. The three together provide an unparalleled long-term study of natural and anthropogenic changes to a large, intact ecosystem and offer approaches to conservation. A critical addition to the conservation biology library. . . . Essential.”


"This book illustrates the complexity of the challenges ahead for the Serengeti ecosystem, as well as the need for integrative, multidisciplinary approaches."

Nathalie Pettorelli | Ecoscience

"An important extension of previous volumes and a valuable case study in community-based conservation."

Ian Powell | Biologist

"Serengeti III’s value lies in its extensive coverage of the ecosystem processes, providing the background for conservation planning and management. . . . A valuable and important reference for students, scientists and managers in landscape ecology, park management, rangeland management, wildlife conservation, and social ecology."

W.G. Doerrgeloh | Integrative and Comparative Biology

Serengeti III belongs on the shelves of any ecological research or teaching library in the world, and in the private collections of all those who have a more than passing interest in African ecology.”

African Zoology

“The book brings much new material and novel analyses, particularly modeling expertise, to build on existing work. It also heralds a change of emphasis. . . . This is in recognition that in order to understand the changes Serengeti has seen and its different possible futures, it is necessary to move on from the biophysical ‘hard’ science to the difficult science of social, economic and political drivers. This is an exciting and groundbreaking move. . . . I am already looking forward to Serengeti IV.”

Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements

1. Introduction: Understanding the greater Serengeti Ecosystem
     Craig Packer and Stephen Polaski

2. Historical and Future Changes to the Serengeti Ecosystem
     A. R. E. Sinclair, J. Grant C. Hopcraft, Han Olff, Simon A. R. Mduma, Kathleen A. Galvin, and Gregory J. Sharam

3. Paleoecology of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem
     Charles R. Peters, Robert J. Blumenschine, Richard L. Hay, Daniel A. Livingstone, Curtis W. Marean, Terry Harrison, Miranda Armour-Chelu, Peter Andrews, Raymond L. Bernor, Raymond Bonnefille, and Lars Werdelin

4. The Resource Basis of Human-Wildlife Interaction
     Han Olff and J. Grant C. Hopcraft

5. Generation and Maintenence of Heterogeneity in the Serengeti Ecosystem
     T. Michael Anderson, Jan Dempewolf, Kristine L. Metzger, Denné N. Reed, and Suzanne Serneels

6. Gobal Environmental Changes and Teir Impact on the Serengeti
     Mark E. Ritchie

7. The Multiple Roles of Infectious Diseases in the Serengeti Ecosystem
     Sarah Cleaveland, Craig Packer, Katie Hampson, Magai Kaare, Richard Kock, Meggan Craft, Tiziana Limbo, Titus Mlengeya, and Andy Dobson

8. Reticulate Food Webs in in Space and Time: Messages from the Serengeti
     Robert D. Holt, Peter A. Abrams, John M. Fryxell, and T. Kimbrell

9. Spatial Dynamics and Coexistance of the Serengeti Grazer Community
     John M. Fryxell, Peter A. Abrams, Robert D. Holt, John F. Wilmshurst, A. R. E. Sinclair, and Ray Hilborn

10. Dynamic Consequences of Human Behavior in in the Serengeti Ecosystem
     Christopher Costello, Nicholas Burger, Kathleen A. Galvin, Ray Hilborn, and Stephen Polasky

11. Human Response to Change: Modeling Household Decision Making in Western Serengeti
     Kathleen A. Galvin, Steven Polasky, Christopher Costello, and Martin Loibooki

12. Larger Scale Influences on the Serengeti Ecosystem: National and International Policy, Economics, and Human Demography
     Stephen Polasky, Jennifer Schmitt, Christopher Costello, Liaila Tajibaeva

13. Land-Use Economics in the Mara Area of the Serengeti Ecosystem
     Mike Norton-Griffiths, Mohammed Y. Said, Suzanne Serneels, Dixon S. Kaelo, Mike Coughenour, Richard H. Lamprey, D. Michael Thompson, and Robin S. Reid

14. Propagation of Change Through a Complex Ecosystem
     Ray Hilborn,A. R. E. Sinclair, and John M. Fryxell

15. Who Pays For Conservation? Current and Future Financing Scenarios for the Serengeti Ecosystem
     Simon Thurgood, Charles Mlingwa, Emmanuel Gereta, Victor Runyoro, Rob Malpas, Karen Laurenson, and Markus Borner

16. Integrating Conservation in Human and Natural Ecosystems
     A. R. E. Sinclair

Appendix: The Main Herbivorous Mammals and Crocodiles in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem
     Simon A. R. Mduma and J. Grant C. Hopcraft



Choice Magazine: CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Awards

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press