People, environment and biodiversity

Reflections on the Karoo Special Issue: towards an interdisciplinary research agenda for South Africa’s drylands

We begin this essay with reflections on major research themes highlighted by the Karoo Special Issue (KSI). These include concerns over land-use change, long-term monitoring, climate change, governance and the need for more interdisciplinary research. We also identify some of the novel contributions of the KSI around these themes and highlight research issues that require […]

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Reflections, applications and future directions of Long-Term Ecological Research at Tierberg

Tierberg-LTER is a research site established in 1987 in the semi-arid Succulent Karoo near Prince Albert in the Western Cape province, South Africa. The original purpose for its establishment was to study ecosystem dynamics and the drivers of vegetation in the context of historical land use. The large body of work that has materialised from […]

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Response of arthropod communities to plant-community rehabilitation efforts after strip mining on the semi-arid west coast of South Africa

Strip mining in arid ecosystems causes extreme ecological destruction that may take decades to recover. The present study examined the effect of different plant-community rehabilitation treatments on arthropods after strip mining in the arid Namaqualand region of South Africa. Vegetation cover and plant species richness were significantly lower at all rehabilitated sites compared with those […]

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Scopes and deficits of Participatory GIS in municipalities in the central Karoo

Haubold, A (2012), Scopes and deficits of Participatory GIS in municipalities in the central Karoo, MSc thesis, Geographisches Institut der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn.   1. Introduction  1.1 Defining the problem  “GIS provides a common language for discussion and acts as a means to bring people together in the decision-making process.” (CRAIG ET AL. 2002, p. […]

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Shale Gas Development in the Central Karoo – Biodiversity and Ecological Impacts

Nature of the study area and shale gas development (SGD) impacts 1. The study area includes relatively high levels of biodiversity, including highly sensitive and unique ecosystems and -species. Seven different biomes and 58 vegetation types, 119 range- restricted plant species, and 12 globally threatened animal species have been recorded from the study area. See […]

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Spatial, temporal and attitudinal dimensions of conflict between predators and small-livestock farmers in the Central Karoo

Conflict between predators and small-livestock farmers is a global phenomenon adversely impacting the preservation of wildlife, the well-being of livestock and human livelihoods. Such conflict is pervasive in the Karoo region of South Africa but its contemporary history and various causes remain poorly understood. In this study, we interviewed 77 small-livestock farmers in the Central […]

Also posted in Agriculture | |

The composition of the soil seedbank and its role in ecosystem dynamics and rehabilitation potential in the arid Tankwa Karoo Region, South Africa

Very few soil seedbank studies have been conducted in South Africa, especially in arid rangelands. Insight into the soil seedbank could therefore improve assessment of rangeland dynamics and enhance rehabilitation efforts. This study aimed to characterise the soil seedbanks in various vegetation types of the Tankwa Karoo National Park, an arid environment in South Africa. […]

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The Contribution of Municipal Commonage to Local People’s Livelihoods in Small South African Towns

Davenport, N (2008), The Contribution of Municipal Commonage to Local People’s Livelihoods in Small South African Towns, MSc thesis, Rhodes University, Grahamstown.   Abstract To redress past discrepancies in land tenure, the ANC government acknowledged that land needs to be made accessible to the previously disadvantaged, announcing that commonage would be a pillar of their […]

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The Impact of Community – Based Conservancy on Community’s Livelihoods

Iipinge, A (2009), “The Impact of Community – Based Conservancy on Community’s Livelihoods: A case of the !Khob !Naub Conservancy, Southern Namibia“, Masters in Development Studies, Centre for Development Support, University of the Free State.   Abstract The !Khob !Naub Conservancy, registered and gazetted in 2003 is the largest of the four conservancies in southern Namibia. […]

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The possibilities and pitfalls presented by a pragmatic approach

O’Farrell, De Lange, WJ, Le Maitre, DC, Reyers, B, Blignaut, JN, Milton, SJ, Atkinson, D, Egoh, B, Maherry, C, and Cowling, RM (2011), “The possibilities and pitfalls presented by a pragmatic approach to ecosystem service valuation in an arid biodiversity hotspot”, Journal of Arid Environments, 75 (2011), 612-623. Accessed at:   Abstract Arid regions […]

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