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Koedoe

Print version ISSN 0075-6458

Abstract

VAN DER LINDEN, Jannie P. et al. Characterisation of the woody assemblages of Zululand coastal thornveld along the Nseleni River. Koedoe [online]. 2008, vol.50, n.1, pp. 113-125. ISSN 0075-6458.

A classification of the woody component of the riparian vegetation of Zululand coastal thornveld is analysed using the height classes of different woody species as an indication of age. A total of 43 randomly stratified plots was selected using aerial photographs to include all the different plant communities in this rare and endemic vegetation type. A floristic survey of the woody component was conducted within each sample plot. Species data recorded included tree cover and tree richness. Environmental data recorded included altitude, soil type, soil chemistry, aspect and slope. The data set was analysed with TWINSPAN and four woody-plant assemblages were identified. An ordination using CANOCO was applied to examine the relationships between species distribution and associated environmental gradients. Changes in the species composition of woody assemblages occurred along an environmental gradient determined by soil properties and past land use.

Keywords : bush encroachment; forest; grassland; height classes; savanna.

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