Original Research

Combining floristic and growth form composition in a gradient- directed vegetation survey of Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve, Western Cape, South Africa

R. G. Lechmere-Oertel, R. M. Cowling
Bothalia | Vol 30, No 2 | a556 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v30i2.556 | © 2000 R. G. Lechmere-Oertel, R. M. Cowling | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 September 2000 | Published: 25 September 2000

About the author(s)

R. G. Lechmere-Oertel, Department of Zoology. University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa
R. M. Cowling, Institute for Plant Conservation, Department of Botany. University of CapeTown, South Africa

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The floristically complex vegetation of Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve (MNR). which spans the ecotone between the Fynbos and Succulent Karoo Biomes in the eastern Cederberg Mountains, Western Cape, was surveyed using a gradient-directed transect (gradsect). The gradsect was aligned with a topo-ciimatic aridity gradient across MNR. The vegetation was classified using TWINSPAN. based on a combination of floristic and growth form characteristics, and an understanding of the main ecological gradients controlling vegetation distribution. The final classification described seven robust and eco­
logically meaningful communities that represented a trade-off between statistical rigour and practicality for management.
The seven communities were mapped using a geographical information system (GIS).


biomes; Cederberg; floristic; fynbos. gradsects. growth forms; Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve. Succulent Karoo; survey. Western Cape


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