Original Research

A quantitative description of some coast forests of Natal

Dilwyn J. Rogers, Eugene J. Moll
Bothalia | Vol 11, No 4 | a1500 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v11i4.1500 | © 1975 Dilwyn J. Rogers, Eugene J. Moll | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 November 1975 | Published: 13 November 1975

About the author(s)

Dilwyn J. Rogers, Department of Biology, Augustana College, South Africa
Eugene J. Moll, Department of Botany, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Abstract

The stands of subtropical forest in four areas along the coast of Natal, South Africa, were sampled using five I 10 acre circular plots in each stand. A total of 101 woody species over one inch d.b.h. was encountered, with a range of 20 to 40 species per stand. Quantitative results, including numbers and sizes, are given for canopy, subcanopy, and understorey species as they occurred in these various layers. Specific size limits were used to recognize the three layers, thus putting all stands on a comparable basis. Relative basal area per acre figures ueie used as an indication of the relative dominance of the various species and layers, and the possibility of a biological principle to justify such usage is mentioned.

Although the stands are complex and are seemingly heterogeneous, there are definite patterns of species behaviour, and trends aie indicated for the 10 stands and for the four forest areas. Relatively few species are dominant in each stand and the apparent diversity is mainly due to the high percentage of species that are relatively uncommon in each stand. The methods described in this paper should be applicable in a study of a broader range of Natal forests, an area from which quantitative studies have heretofore been virtually absent.

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Crossref Citations

1. The afromontane forests of Transkei, southern Africa. II: A floristic classification
S.G. Cawe, B. McKenzie
South African Journal of Botany  vol: 55  issue: 1  first page: 31  year: 1989  
doi: 10.1016/S0254-6299(16)31230-3