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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Community-based conservation: Intrinsic versus extrinsic values

Ingle, M (2006), Community-based conservation: Intrinsic versus extrinsic values, in New Contree, vol. 51: 115-131.   Introduction This article commences with an examination of the reasons for the enormous increase in areas under state protection worldwide, and proceeds to discover two incompatible value systems that inform this expansion. The tension between these value systems informs […]

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Desertification in the semi-arid Karoo, South Africa:

The concept of desertification has recently been re-evaluated with two major outcomes. Firstly, the term itself has been reviewed, with most authors concluding that the emotive implications of ‘desertification’ (i.e. advancing deserts per se) are inappropriate in many cases and that the general term ‘dryland degradation’ is a more accurate description of reality. Secondly, it […]

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Future Ecosystem Services in a Southern African River Basin

Scenario planning is a promising tool for dealing with uncertainty, but it has been underutilized in ecology and conservation. The use of scenarios to explore ecological dynamics of alternative futures has been given a major boost by the recently completed Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a 4-year initiative to investigate relationships between ecosystem services and human well-being […]

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Gradients in vegetation cover, structure and species richness of Nama-Karoo shrublands…

1. Gradients of animal impact known as piospheres tend to develop around artificial watering points, particularly in arid zones. Such grazing gradients represent a potential opportunity for differentiating the long-term effects of livestock activity from other environmental patterns. In this study, the impact of watering point provision on the plant cover, species richness and community […]

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