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Research, Policy and Practice

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Table 1 Alternative explanations for observed negative co-variation between grazer effects on plant communities and plant production

From: Comparing the effects of livestock and native herbivores on plant production and vegetation composition in the Trans-Himalayas

Scenario Explanation Description Test
A Biogeography Merging data across ecosystems can lead to false patterns Does the pattern occur within an ecosystem
B Inconsistent parameters Studies reporting effects on plant biomass and production are pooled together Compare patterns of biomass against those of production
   Studies reporting changes in relative abundance and species occurrence are pooled together Compare patterns in the Bray-Curtis index against the Sørensen index
C Autocorrelation Each response is independently related to a gradient of precipitation Assess autocorrelation with soil moisture
D Species richness Local variation in species richness determines the strength of each response Evaluate partial correlation
  1. Alternative scenarios (A to D) are listed alongside a description of their underlying arguments and the analytical tests to evaluate them.