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Mbeeli, T.N. 2018. A vegetation classification of The Nama Karoo Dwarf Shrub savanna in South Central Namibia. Master in Natural Resources Management at the Namibia University of Science and Technology


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A vegetation classification of The Nama Karoo Dwarf Shrub savanna in South Central Namibia.

Summary / Notes:

The study was conducted in the south-central part of Namibia which has a vegetation which belongs to the Nama Karoo biome. The Nama Karoo biome covers about 607 000 km² of southern Africa, located on the central plateau of South Africa and Namibia. It occupies most of the interior of the western half of South Africa and extends into the southern interior of Namibia. This study aims to contribute towards a data deficiency that exists on plot based surveys in the country, and be aligned with the Vegetation Survey of Namibia’s ultimate goal of mapping the vegetation of the entire country. The vegetation of the central Nama Karoo was classified and described by subjecting 763 relevés to multivariate analysis i.e. classification and ordination using the software JUICE (Tichý) for classifying, and PC-Ord 7 for ordinations. From a modified TWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, 16 plant communities, which can be grouped into four major plant communities, were identified. A combined synoptic table and crispness score graph was constructed to facilitate the recognition and definition of the plant communities represented by the data set. A classification and description of the major plant communities of higher syntaxa are presented, and these relate to landscape level alliances. Descriptions of the plant communities at associations’ level include characteristic species as well as prominent and less conspicuous species. In addition to the multivariate analysis, some basic statistical analyses were performed on the data collected in this study. The average total vegetation cover and cover per defined layer of each community was determined. The average number of species per 1000 m² of each community was also determined. Suitability and sensitivity indices were calculated for each vegetation community to assess how suitable it is for livestock farming, and its’ ecological sensitivity. Keywords: Braun-Blanquet, floristic composition, JUICE, PC-Ord, phytosociology, plant communities, TWINSPAN, TurboVeg.

Year: 2018

Type: Thesis

Download: Vegetation classification of The Nama Karoo Dwarf Shrub savannah Nabot Mbeeli Final Thesis.pdf (9.97 mb)

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