SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.103 issue5-6Characterization of the pitch canker fungus, Fusarium circinatum, from ChileGenetic diversity of Chrysoporthe cubensis in eastern and southern Africa author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353

S. Afr. j. sci. vol.103 n.5-6 Pretoria May./Jun. 2007




Do insect distributions fit our biomes?



Ş.Procheş I, II; R.M. CowlingI

IBotany Department, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, P.O. Box 77000, Port Elizabeth 6031, South Africa
IICentre for Invasion Biology, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa




An assessment of biome-specificity in southern African insect assemblages was undertaken using sweep collections in fynbos, grassland, subtropical thicket and Nama-karoo. Insect samples from the same biome generally cluster together in multidimensional scaling analyses, although there is a great variability between sites within each biome. Rich and distinctive insect faunas exist in each biome, including fynbos. In the Baviaanskloof Conservation Area of the southeastern Cape, where the four biomes marginally co-occur, some insect assemblages are enriched relative to sites at the core of the biomes, presumably through the mixing of faunas via transient or persistent establishment of populations recruited from adjacent biomes.



“Full text available only in PDF format”




1. Rutherford M.C. and Westfall R.H. (1986). Biomes of southern Africa. An objective characterisation. Mem. Bot. Surv. S. Afr. 54, 1-98.         [ Links ]

2. Low A.B. and Rebelo A.G. (1998). Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

3. Mucina L. and Rutherford M.C. (eds) (2006). The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity lnstitute, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

4. Van Wyk A.E. and Smith G.F. (2001). Regions of Floristic Endemism in Southern Africa: a review with emphasis on succulents. Umdaus Press, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

5. van Rensburg B.J., Koleff P, Gaston K.J. and Chown S.L. (2004). Spatial congruence of ecological transition at the regional scale in South Africa. J. Biogeogr. 31, 843-854.         [ Links ]

6. De Klerk H.M., Crowe T.M., Fjeldsa J. and Burgess N.D. (2002). Biogeographical patterns of endemic terrestrial Afrotropical birds. Diversity and Distributions 8, 147-162.         [ Links ]

7. de Klerk H.M., Crowe T.M., Fjeldsa J. and Burgess N.D. (2002). Patterns of species richness and narrow endemism of terrestrial bird species in the Afrotropical region. J. Zool. 256, 327-342.         [ Links ]

8. Burgess N.D., Rahbek C., Larsen F.W., Williams P. and Balmford A. (2002). How much of the vertebrate diversity of sub-Saharan Africa is catered for by recent conservation proposals? Biol. Cons. 107, 327-339.         [ Links ]

9. Minter L.R., Burger M., Harrison J.A., Braack H.H., Bishop P.J. and Kloepfer D. (eds) (2004). Atlas and Red Data Book of the Frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. SI/MAB Series #9. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.         [ Links ]

10. Procheş, Ş. and Cowling R.M. (2006). Insect diversity in Cape fynbos and neighbouring South African vegetation. Global Ecol. Biogeog. 15, 445-451.         [ Links ]

11. Wright M.G. and Samways M.J. (1998). Insect species richness tracking plant species richness in a diverse flora: gall-insects in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Oecologia 115, 427-433.         [ Links ]

12. Gess F.W. and Gess S.K. (1993). Effects of increasing land utilization on species representation and diversity of aculeate wasps and bees in the semi arid areas of southern Africa. In Hymenoptera and Biodiversity, eds J. LaSalle and I.D. Gauld, pp. 83-113. CAB International, Wallingford, Oxon.         [ Links ]

13. Cowling R.M. (1983). Phytochorology and vegetation history in the south eastern Cape, South Africa. J. Biogeogr. 10, 393-419.         [ Links ]

14. Shmida A. and Wilson M.V. (1985). Biological determinants of species diversity. J. Biogeogr. 12, 1-20.         [ Links ]

15. Clarke K.R. and Warwick R.M. (1994). Change in marine communities :an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation. Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth.         [ Links ]

16. Colwell R.K. (2001). EstimateS: Statistical estimation of species richness and shared species from samples. Version 6.0b1. User's Guide and application published online at:        [ Links ]

17. Euston-Brown D.I.W. (1995). Environmental and dynamic determinants of vegetation distribution in the Kouga and Baviaanskloof Mountains, Eastern Cape. M.Sc. thesis, University of Cape Town.         [ Links ]

18. Novotny V, Basset Y., Miller S.E., Weiblen G.D., Bremer B., Èiek L. and Drozd P. (2002). Low host specificity of herbivorous insects in a tropical forest. Nature 416, 841-844.         [ Links ]

19. Eriksson O. (1996). Regional dynamics of plants: a review of evidence for remnant, source-sink and metapopulations. Oikos 77, 248-258.         [ Links ]

20. Johnson S.D. (1992). Plant-animal relationships. In The Ecology of Fynbos: Nutrients, fire and diversity, ed. R.M. Cowling, pp. 175-205. Oxford University Press, Cape Town.         [ Links ]

21. Johnson S.D. and Bond W.J. (1997). Evidence for widespread pollen limitation of fruiting success in Cape wildflowers. Oecologia 109, 530-534.         [ Links ]

22. Campbell B.M. (1983). Montane environments in the fynbos biome. Bothalia 4, 283-298.         [ Links ]



Received 10 April 2006.
Accepted 12 August 2006.



*Author for correspondence. E-mail:

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License