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A classification and description of the shrubland vegetation on Platberg, Eastern Free State, South Africa

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dc.contributor.author Brand, Robert F.
dc.contributor.author Du Preez, Pieter J.
dc.contributor.author Brown, Leslie R.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-06-01T10:24:35Z
dc.date.available 2010-06-01T10:24:35Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.citation Brand, RF, Du Preez, PJ & Brown LR, ' A classification and description of the shrubland vegetation on Platberg, Eastern Free State, South Africa', Koedoe, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 1-11. [http://www.koedoe.co.za/index.php/koedoe] en
dc.identifier.issn 2071-0771
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10500/3343
dc.description Applied Behavioural Ecology and Ecosystem Research Unit ABEERU UNISA en
dc.description.abstract The natural environment is constantly under threat from human-related activities. Platberg, overlooking the town of Harrismith in the Free State, is an inselberg that presents a refuge for indigenous plants and animals. The natural vegetation of the area is threatened by various farming and grazing practices, as well as by commercial development. In order to obtain baseline data and to obtain an improved understanding of the long-term ecological processes, the vegetation of Platberg was investigated to establish Afroalpine fl oristic links to the Drakensberg, as well as for the management of natural resources. From a Two-Way Indicator-Species Analysis (TWINSPAN) classifi cation, refi ned by Braun–Blanquet methods, four major plant communities were identifi ed, which were subdivided into fynbos, wetland, woody/shrub and grassland. A classifi cation and description of the shrubland is presented in this article. The analysis showed the shrubland divided into 20 different plant communities, which are grouped into eight major communities, 13 sub-communities and eight variants. A total of 450 species was recorded from 109 relevés. A total of 24 endemic, or near-endemic, and Red Data species belonging to the Drakensberg Alpine Centre (DAC) was collected, with 22 alien (introduced) species also being recorded. Numerous fl oristic links with the DAC, the Cape Floristic Region and the Grassland Bioregions to the north and west were found. Conservation implications: The fl oristic composition and community analysis proves Platberg to be an important centre for plant diversity, with high species richness, a variety of habitats, and complex ecosystems. This description of the woodland communities can be used to assist with the setting of criteria for the management and protection of inselbergs in the province. en
dc.description.sponsorship National Geographic(grant number 7920-05) en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Koedoe en
dc.subject Drakensberg Alpine Centre en
dc.subject Braun-Blanguet en
dc.subject TWINSPAN en
dc.subject Floristic links en
dc.subject Inselberg en
dc.title A classification and description of the shrubland vegetation on Platberg, Eastern Free State, South Africa en
dc.type Article en


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