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van Rooyena, M.W., Theron, G.K., van Rooyen, N., Jankowitz, W.J. and Matthews, W.S. 2004. Mysterious circles in the Namib Desert: review of hypotheses on their origin. Journal of Arid Environments, 57: 467–485


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Mysterious circles in the Namib Desert: review of hypotheses on their origin.

Summary / Notes:

Circular, slightly concave depressions, devoid of vegetation and often surrounded by a fringe of tall grasses occur in a broken belt in the pro-Namib zone of the west coast of southern Africa. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origin of these socalled fairy circles. The most important of these relate to areas of localized radioactivity; termite activity; or allelopathic compounds released by dead Euphorbia damarana plants. No evidence of increased radioactivity could be detected in soil samples collected from these sites. Keywords: allelopathy, fairy circles, Namib, radioactivity, spatial vegetation pattern, termites.

Year: 2004

Type: Journal Article

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