People, environment and biodiversity

A socio-ecological analysis of environmental change in the Kannaland

This study utilizes a cyclical socio-ecological systems approach to explore change in natural vegetation and land use within the Kannaland Municipality of the Klein Karoo. Repeat ground photography, historical climate and agricultural data, and in-depth, semi-structured interviews were used to assess environmental, political and socio-economic change in the study area since the early 1900s. Few […]

| Tagged

A socio-ecological analysis of environmental change in the Kannaland Municipality

 A socio-ecological analysis of environmental change in the Kannaland Municipality of the Klein Karoo, South Africa, over the last 100 years,  Amy Louise Murray, Masters thesis, University of Cape Town, September 2015. Abstract This study utilizes a cyclical socio-ecological systems approach to explore change in natural vegetation and land use within the Kannaland Municipality of […]

| Tagged , ,

Adaptations in desert organisms: even the bad times may be good

AT THIS TIME OF SERIOUS CONCERN about climate change and the implications for the continued existence of many kinds of life on Earth, a colloquium† that reviewed survival strategies and the natural history of desert organisms is pertinent. Here we draw attention to highlights of the meeting. Tolerance Desert organisms that are resident and persistent […]

|

An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants in the southeastern Karoo

Ethnobotanical field studies in the Graaff-Reinet and Murraysburg regions (southeastern Karoo) have revealed a wealth of traditional knowledge on medicinal plants and their uses amongst elderly people of Khoi-San and Cape Dutch decent. The materia medica includes at least 86 species, most of which appear to be still in everyday use. The use of exotic […]

| Tagged

An overview of themes in the agrarian and environmental history of the Karoo since c.1800

This article explores some themes in the agrarian and environmental history of the Karoo since 1800. It argues that environmental change cannot be understood without incorporating social, economic and political history. This is especially so in the case of the Karoo because the landscape and ecology was transformed by intensive commercial livestock production in the […]

| Tagged

Assessing the success of experimental rehabilitation on a coastal mineral sands mine in Namaqualand, South Africa

The success of different rehabilitation treatments following surface mining on the arid west coast of South Africa was assessed. Treatments consisting of one or a combination of topsoil addition, plant translocation and seeding were applied to experimental rehabilitation sites in 2001, while the treatment of another site in 2008 combined all three techniques. Vegetation and […]

| Tagged

Beefing Up Species Richness?

The transformation and fragmentation of natural land are considered to be major drivers of biodiversity loss and local extinctions. In this study we compare medium-to-large mammal diversity on rangeland, game farms and natural land within the Little Karoo, South Africa. Mammal diversity was assessed using camera traps set up at 141 sites, and compared across […]

|

Before the Anthropocene: human pasts in Karoo landscapes

Karoo landscapes today are replete with evidence of recent human impacts. The Karoo is relatively pristine in the South African imaginary, but it is not untouched. Social and historic change in the last 300 years has been dramatic. The article looks to the evidence of human lifeways and land-use patterns in Karoo landscapes from the […]

| Tagged ,

Biological soil crusts of the Succulent Karoo: a review

The Succulent Karoo is characterised by a dense coverage of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) belonging to different types and successional stages. Whereas the Soebatsfontein region hosts cyanobacteria-dominated and minor amounts of lichen- and bryophyte-dominated biocrusts, the Knersvlakte comprises a rich cover of hypolithic crusts growing on the sides and undersides of quartz pebbles. Apart from […]

| Tagged

Changes in the distribution of degraded land over time in the central Karoo

This paper forms part of a long-term study of land degradation in the Klein Seekoei valley in the Sneeuberg uplands about 30 km southwest of the town of Middelburg, South Africa (Fig. 1). Landscape degradation in this area is characterized by the development of badlands on the footslopes of upland areas and by gully systems […]

|