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Burke, A. 2012. The effect of altitude on arid inselbergs along a bioclimatic gradient. Journal of Natural History, 46(47-48): 3011-3023


Description:

The effect of altitude on arid inselbergs along a bioclimatic gradient.

Summary / Notes:

Twenty-four inselbergs in four distinct landscapes along a biogeographic gradient from mesic winter rainfall in the southern Namib to arid summer rainfall in the northern Namib were analysed. Declining similarity of vegetation between matrix (surrounding plains) and inselbergs with altitude were exhibited in most inselbergs, irrespective of biogeographic region, rock types and height above surroundings. Some inselbergs showed the least congruence with matrix vegetation on upper slopes, others with the top of inselbergs. This is probably related to the nature of the individual inselbergs, e.g. with steep cliffs in the upper reaches supporting plant species adapted to more mesic conditions. Most trends of declining similarity between matrix and inselberg habitats were maintained across the investigated bioclimatic regions. Even low inselbergs clearly supported vegetation very distinct from the surrounding area. Their contribution to species richness of a landscape is therefore unquestionable and adequate protection of such landscapes is needed where human impacts are severe. Keywords: altitude gradient, matrix, mountain habitat, species pool, species richness.

Year: 2012

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00222933.2012.725779#.VGRr8lItBHg


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