Original Research

Diversity and species turnover on an altitudinal gradient in Western Cape, South Africa: baseline data for monitoring range shifts in response to climate change

L. Agenbag, K. J. Elser, G. F. Midgley, C. Boucher
Bothalia | Vol 38, No 2 | a287 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v38i2.287 | © 2008 L. Agenbag, K. J. Elser, G. F. Midgley, C. Boucher | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 August 2008 | Published: 14 August 2008

About the author(s)

L. Agenbag, Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
K. J. Elser, Centre for Invasion Biology, University of Stellenbosch Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
G. F. Midgley, Global Change and Biodiversity Programme, Ecology and Conser­ vation, South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa
C. Boucher, Department of Botany and Zoology. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Abstract

A temperature and moisture gradient on the equator-facing slope of Jonaskop on the Riviersonderend Mountain. Westem Cape has been selected as an important gradient for monitoring the effects of climate change on fynbos and the Fynbos- Succulent Karoo ecotone. This study provides a description of plant diversity patterns, growth form composition and species turnover across the gradient and the results of four years of climate monitoring at selected points along the altitudinal gradient.The aim o f this study is to provide data for a focused monitoring strategy for the early detection of climate change-related shifts in species’ ranges, as well as gaining a better understanding of the role of climate variability in shaping species growth responses, their distributions, and other ecosystem processes.


Keywords

Fynbos-Succulent Karoo ecotone. long-term monitoring. Sandstone Fynbos. Shale Renosterveld. species-environment relationships

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