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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Abstract

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).

Keywords

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

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