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Accueil du site → Master → Afrique du Sud → 2010 → Plant water relations of Elytropappus Rhinocerotis with specific reference to soil restrictions on growth

University of Stellenbosch (2010)

Plant water relations of Elytropappus Rhinocerotis with specific reference to soil restrictions on growth

Vermeulen, Tarina

Auteur : Vermeulen, Tarina

Université de soutenance : University of Stellenbosch

Grade : MScAgric (Soil Science) 2010.

The Renosterveld of the Western Cape region is often seen as a natural occurring veld type that will very easily re-establish itself wherever land is left unattended. In this study it was firstly noted that where wheatlands of the Berg River catchment (BRC) is left bare for a number of years, the renosterbos as a pioneer is slow in its re-growth response and when it does, certain patches in the landscape are preferred. This study therefore firstly focussed on the soil restrictions that widely determined the positions in the Berg River landscape where the renosterbos will re-establish itself. Secondly we needed to know whether some of the soil restrictions encountered could be alleviated and was possibly due to cultivation of this land. Through aerial observation it was found that a general patchiness does exist in the naturally occurring Renosterveld of the Voëlvlei area and hill tops of the region and was described by others as the true nature of this veld type. Closer investigation of the soils in the Voëlvlei reserve however showed that soil type played a major role in the patchiness found here. When re-growth of the renosterbos in previously cultivated areas was investigated, it was found that the soil type played the major role in the patchiness that occurred. The most commonly found soil restriction was soil density of the lower horizons. Any soil form that prevented the renosterbos to access the perched water table, to about 15m depth could not support the renosterbos. It is however our belief that soil could be prepared for the re-growth of renosterbos and through this action ; renosterbos could also be used to alleviate the salinity problems found in this region. Additionally we investigated the impact of land-use change on the soil water balance and soil salinity by comparing a mature re-established stand of Renosterveld with an adjacent wheatfield. From the results, large differences in salinity and soil water behaviour were detected between the Renosterveld and wheatfield. Modelling of soil and plant water relations was done and the results were correlated well with field observations. This research also confirmed that the renosterbos through its deep rootedness is crucial in the conservation of other species found in the Renosterveld resulting from its ability to keep the water table down and with that the salts that is so often a problem in this area.


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