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Accueil du site → Master → Afrique du Sud → 2021 → The dynamics of the Vachellia xanthophloea and Faidberbia albida woodlands in the floodplains of the Makuleke Contractual Park (hot, arid climate)

University of the Witwatersrand (2021)

The dynamics of the Vachellia xanthophloea and Faidberbia albida woodlands in the floodplains of the Makuleke Contractual Park (hot, arid climate)

Turner, Jonathan

Titre : The dynamics of the Vachellia xanthophloea and Faidberbia albida woodlands in the floodplains of the Makuleke Contractual Park (hot, arid climate)

Auteur : Turner, Jonathan

Université de soutenance : University of the Witwatersrand

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2021

Résumé partiel
The Makuleke Contractual Park in the far north of the Kruger National Park has a hot, arid climate historically supplemented by variable flooding of the floodplains of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers. The floodplains form the Makuleke Ramsar Wetlands with diverse vegetation including beautiful monospecific Vachellia xanthophloea and Faidherbia albida woodlands. A landscape level study examined the dynamics of these woodlands in the chronological order of different phases of establishment, decline and regeneration, and how they were affected by various ecological drivers over a period of half a century. Use was made of aerial photographs, Google Earth imagery and ground survey methods to track woodland changes. Episodic events were key drivers of the woodland dynamics. Anthropogenic factors, geology and soils, climate and hydrology, elephants, mesobrowsers and senescence all played roles. The Makuleke people lived in the area until they were forcibly removed in 1969, when the area was incorporated into the Kruger National Park. With their departure, and farming activities terminated, the anthropogenic influence shifted to one governed by the conservation policies of the Kruger National Park. This created a changed environment under which most of the woodlands established. The abiotic template of climate, geology and soils is presented. The average annual rainfall was 437 mm but with a high coefficient of variation. Infrequent flooding of the floodplains from the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers introduced hydrological variability and two large infrequent flood disturbances occurred, dramatically affecting the morphology of the Luvuvhu River and dynamics of the woodlands. How the hydrological regime, large flood disturbances, geology and soils have determined the spatio-temporal distribution of the woodlands in the floodplain is discussed. Under the hot, arid climate premature stress induced senescence in the V. xanthophloea woodlands occurred.

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