Shelby started things off with a presentation on the major determinants of woody vegetation cover in African savannas. Her presentation identified four major drivers of vegetation cover: mean annual precipitation, fire regime, soil chemistry and herbivory. Of these, mean annual precipitation is noted to be the most important determinant.
Raeann presented next on the influence of precipitation on savanna vegetation and soils within the Kalahari Desert. Her selected article examined differences along an aridity gradient that increases from north to south within the Kalahari, with stark differences observed. Moving from north to south along this gradient, smaller leaf size, higher soil nutrient levels and decreased canopy cover were identified.