Species abundance data from 32 representative stands are used to evaluate the vegetation in the heavily grazed Serengeti short grasslands. The abundant species are: Kyllinga nervosa, Sporobolus ioclados, S. kentro-phyllus and Eustachys paspaloides, all occurring in elevated areas, and Hypoestes forskalei, which is found in the drainage areas. Numerical classification and fuzzy set ordination revealed four main grassland communities associated with a topographic gradient. The communities are considered distinct since their niches, as computed in the community and environmental fuzzy system space are not overlapping. Leaching, erosion and animal disturbance effects correlated with the topographic gradient are found to determine species composition and overall community structure in the grasslands.
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