Elephants can have profound impacts on the ecosystems they occupy with both positive and negative effects on other species, especially with their foraging activities. By pulling down trees to eat leaves, breaking branches and pulling out roots, they reduce woody cover, creating clearings in forests, converting forests to savannas and converting savannas to grasslands. These changes tend to benefit grazers at the expense of browsers.
Dung beetles and termites both eat elephant feces. During the dry season, elephants use their tusks to dig into river beds to reach underground sources of water. These holes may then become essential sources of water for other species. Elephants make paths through their environment that are used by other animals. Some of these pathways have apparently been used by multiple generations of elephants, used by humans and eventually even been converted to roads. A well documented example of this is the road down the Zambezi Escarpment from Makuti to Kariba in Zimbabwe.