Original Research

Dune vegetation dynamics from 1937 to 1976 in the Mlalazi-Richards Bay area of Natal, South Africa

P. J. Weisser, R. Müller
Bothalia | Vol 14, No 3/4 | a1225 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v14i3/4.1225 | © 1983 P. J. Weisser, R. Müller | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 November 1983 | Published: 06 November 1983

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P. J. Weisser, Botanical Research Institute, Department of Agriculture, South Africa
R. Müller, Botanical Research Institute, Department of Agriculture, South Africa

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Dune vegetation changes were studied qualitatively with the aid of air photos taken in 1937, 1957 and 1976.Results were transferred to 1:10 000 scale maps. In 1937 roughly 80% of the dune forest habitat was occupied by planted fields and post cultivation serai stages such as Secondary Grasslands and Dwarf Shrubland, Secondary Scrub and Acacia karroo Woodland. In three areas, the vegetation cover had been completely destroyed and drift sands had formed. In the 1950’s the trend of vegetation degradation was changed by the implementation of an afforestation programme by the Department of Forestry. The 1976 air photos indicate that the post cultivation serai stages of 1937 had been largely replaced by forest plantations. In secondary, unafforested areas the vegetation is evolving rapidly towards a Secondary Dune Forest.


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