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"Dynamics of woody flora and its influence on the distribution of sub-Saharan antelopes in the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Fauna Reserve" (Chad).

Director of thesis ZEMP Clara, Professeure Assistant
Co-director of thesis
Summary of thesis

The abundance of native species in most of the main terrestrial biomes of which the Sahelo-Saharan biome has fallen by at least 20% (IPBES, 2019) and most of the species (fauna and flora) that survive are endangered. A barrier for better understanding and conserving savannah ecosystems is the lack of the scientific knowledge on interactions between herbivores and woody plants. Specifically, the impacts of herbivores on the structure, distribution, and composition of woody plants of savannas is almost unknown, as is the influence of the woody layer on the spatio-temporal distribution of herbivores as well. My project aims at filling this research gap in the Sahel, more specifically in the Ouadi Rimé Ouadi Achim Wildlife Reserve in Chad. This reserve is representative of the Sahel-Saharan biome and one of the only protected areas in Africa that currently host considerable populations of sub-Saharan antelopes including Oryx dammah and Addax nasomaculatus reintroduced in the wild since 2016. In Chad, a country with one of the richest biodiversity in Sahelo-Saharan Africa, the residual populations of large mammals are circumscribed in the savannah ecosystems on which they depend exclusively on grazing. We aim to characterize the woody flora and describe the spatio-temporal distribution of the antelopes to establish the impact of interactions between these two components of the trophic chain.

Status beginning
Administrative delay for the defence 2026