Vegetation Map of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland 2018: A description of changes since 2006

Authors

  • Anisha Dayaram South African National Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Linda Harris Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Barend Grobler Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Stephni Van der Merwe South African National Biodiversity Institute
  • Anthony Rebelo South African National Biodiversity Institute
  • Leslie Powrie South African National Biodiversity Institute
  • Johannes Vlok Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Philip Desmet Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Philip Desmet
  • Mcebisi Qabaqaba South African National Biodiversity Institute
  • Keneilwe Hlahane South African National Biodiversity Institute
  • Andrew Skowno South African National Biodiversity Institute

Keywords:

VEGMAP Project, National Vegetation Map, National Biodiversity Assessment, vegetation mapping, vegetation classification

Abstract

 

Background: The Vegetation Map of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (National Vegetation Map [NVM]) is a fundamental data set that is updated periodically. The National Biodiversity Assessment (NBA) 2018 process provided an opportunity for a more comprehensive revision of the NVM and better alignment between the terrestrial, marine and estuarine ecosystem maps.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to update the NVM 2018 and quantify spatial and classification changes since NVM 2012, and describe the rationale and data sources utilised. We also quantified spatial errors corrected in this version, highlighted progress since NVM 2006, and identified errors and gaps to make recommendations for future revisions.

Method: Edits made to the NVM in ArcMap 10.4 were categorised into the following five groups for analysis: (1) New types, (2) Boundary edits, (3) Realm re-assignment, (4) Removed and replaced vegetation types and (5) Deleted map area. Changes were quantified by category and biome. We used various software platforms to correct and quantify spatial errors since 2006.

Results: Vegetation types were added (n = 47), removed (n = 35) and had boundary edits (n = 107) in NVM 2018, which affected over 5% of the total map area, compared to 2.6% (2012) and 0.5% (2009) for previous versions. Several sources of error were identified and fixed, and prompted the development of standard mapping protocols.

Conclusion: National Vegetation Map 2018 is the most substantial revision of this data set that now fully aligns with maps of all other realms that form part of the NBA. However, parts of the map remain unrefined and provide opportunities for future work.

Author Biographies

Anisha Dayaram, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

South African National Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Restoration and Conservation Biology Research Group, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences,
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Linda Harris, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Coastal and Marine Research Institute, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Barend Grobler, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

5African Centre for Coastal Palaeoscience, Department of Botany, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth,
South Africa

Stephni Van der Merwe, South African National Biodiversity Institute

South African Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Anthony Rebelo, South African National Biodiversity Institute

South African Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Leslie Powrie, South African National Biodiversity Institute

South African National Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Johannes Vlok, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Department of Botany, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Philip Desmet, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Mcebisi Qabaqaba, South African National Biodiversity Institute

South African National Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Keneilwe Hlahane, South African National Biodiversity Institute

South African National Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Andrew Skowno, South African National Biodiversity Institute

South African National Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Published

2019-10-17

How to Cite

Dayaram, A., Harris, L., Grobler, B., Van der Merwe, S., Rebelo, A., Powrie, L., Vlok, J., Desmet, P., Desmet, P., Qabaqaba, M., Hlahane, K. . ., & Skowno, A. (2019). Vegetation Map of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland 2018: A description of changes since 2006. Bothalia, African Biodiversity & Conservation, 49(1). Retrieved from https://abcjournal.org/index.php/BothaliaABC/article/view/23

Issue

Section

Original research, Reviews, Strategies, Case studies