Original Research

A comparison of Mopaneveld vegetation in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe

F. Siebert, G. J. Bredenkamp, S. J. Siebert
Bothalia | Vol 33, No 1 | a439 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v33i1.439 | © 2003 F. Siebert, G. J. Bredenkamp, S. J. Siebert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 September 2003 | Published: 12 September 2003

About the author(s)

F. Siebert, African Vegetation and Plant Diversity Research Centre. Department of Botany. University of Pretoria, South Africa
G. J. Bredenkamp, African Vegetation and Plant Diversity Research Centre. Department of Botany. University of Pretoria, South Africa
S. J. Siebert, African Vegetation and Plant Diversity Research Centre. Department of Botany. University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

Data from fifteen phytosociological studies were merged and classified to describe and compare the vegetation of geo­
graphically separated and climatically different Mopanev eld types in South Africa. Namibia and Zimbabw e. Seven v egetation
types and ten major plant communities were identified using TW INSPAN. Vegetation types were separated according to geo­
graphical regions. There were significant floristic affinities even though there w ere geological and climatic differences between
the regions. Plant communities were described according to vegetation structure, habitat and floristic composition. Although
environmental data were not adequate for a detailed ordination. DECORANA reflected the distribution of vegetation types and
major plant communities along environmental gradients. Limitations of large phytosociological syntheses were also addressed. Species richness (alpha diversity) was calculated for each geographical region. The Musina (Messina) region north of the Soutpansberg. South Africa, has the highest species richness, and Kaokoland. Namibia, the lowest Due to irregular annual
rainfall patterns in semi-arid Mopaneveld, it is suggested that variance in species richness is associated with temporal vegeta­
tion states induced by rainfall events. Species richness of Mopaneveld was further compared w ith other sav anna types.

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