Karoo flora and fauna

Drivers and trajectories of social and ecological change in the Karoo, South Africa

This review article explores past, present and possible future drivers of change in Karoo social-ecological systems. Biogeographically, the Karoo comprises the arid Succulent Karoo and Nama-Karoo biomes covering significant portions of the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces and a smaller part of the Free State. Despite the Karoo’s specific environment and spatial […]

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Effects of short-term intensive trampling on Karoo vegetation

Plant growth forms likely respond differently to disturbances such as trampling. We investigated the trampling effect of 1 600 sheep encamped at night in temporary enclosures (kraals, corrals or pens), which were relocated weekly. To examine trampling effects and regeneration rates of the various growth forms we compared vegeta- tion composition, canopy cover and foliar […]

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Interactions of grazing and rainfall on vegetation at Grootfontein in the eastern Karoo

Rainfall and grazing are primary drivers of vegetation composition in the Nama-Karoo. Increased rainfall increases grassiness, to where Nama-Karoo transitions to grassland. Severe grazing treatments (e.g. continuous or summer-only) increase abundance of grazing-tolerant dwarf shrubs and annual grasses, and decrease perennial grasses. Grootfontein, which is ecotonal between the Nama-Karoo and Grassland Biomes, houses long-term grazing […]

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Long-term vegetation change (>20 years) in the plains habitat on the Goegap Nature Reserve, Succulent Karoo, South Africa

Because vegetation change in arid ecosystems is slow, long-term data are essential to gain an understanding of how the vegetation responds to short-term, inter-annual variation in rainfall; long-term cyclic rainfall patterns; and grazing pressure. The point intercept method was conducted annually over a period of more than 20 years at five transects in the plains […]

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