Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE)

The Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE) was established in 1995 to determine the separate and combined effects on savanna ecology of herbivory by cattle, wildlife, and separately, elephants and giraffes. Embedded in the KLEE plots are sub-experiments examining yearly and triennial fire, overgrazing, fertilization, and disturbance.

KLEE consists of 18 four-hectare (ten-acre) experimental plots that allow or restrict access to six combinations of large domestic and wildlife herbivores. These experimental treatments can be viewed as representing:

(a) different land uses (management for cattle, wildlife, or both) or 
(b) the sequential loss of large wild herbivores. 
In addition to the plots themselves, the KLEE project has engaged in research on pastoral boma footprints and an audacious tree-thinning experiment. 

The overall project has thus far generated over 150 peer-reviewed publications, and over 30 masters and doctoral dissertations, more than half from Kenyan students This makes KLEE the most scientifically productive field experiment ever carried out on the African continent. The KLEE plots promotes collaborations among scientists from across the globe, producing cutting edge research and additional embedded experiments. These studies have been influential in identifying the myriad ways that ecological communities are structured and function, and in particular how such insights can inform management and conservation actions in savanna landscapes.

Universities and Organizations: University of California-Davis Karatina UniversityEgerton University, Utah State University, University of Texas, University of Notre Dame

Primary Investigators: Dr. Truman Young (University of California-Davis), Dr. Duncan Kimuyu (Karatina University), Dr. Wilfred Odadi (Egerton University), Dr. Kari Veblen (Utah State University), Dr. Amy Wolf (University of Texas)

Project Director: Dr. Duncan Kimuyu