Original Research

The extended occurrence of Maputaland Woody Grassland further south in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

S. J. Siebert, F. Siebert, M. J. Du Toit
Bothalia | Vol 41, No 2 | a77 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v41i2.77 | © 2011 S. J. Siebert, F. Siebert, M. J. Du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 December 2011 | Published: 17 December 2011

About the author(s)

S. J. Siebert, School of Environmental Sciences and Development, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
F. Siebert, School of Environmental Sciences and Development, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
M. J. Du Toit, School of Environmental Sciences and Development, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

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Abstract

The distinctiveness of Maputaland Woody Grassland lies within its richness of geoxylic suffrutices and herbaceous flora. Since it is well documented in the literature and easy to distinguish from other grassland types, it was possible to confirm a locality of this unique vegetation unit west of Richards Bay, where it probably forms the southernmost outlier population of this vegetation unit in the Indian Ocean Coastal Belt Biome. Phytosociological data obtained from the study area were analysed to identify plant communities and subsequent mapping units. Floristic gradients obtained through ordination techniques revealed the relationship that exists between the Woody Grassland of the study area and the Maputaland Woody Grassland of Sileza Nature Reserve. This confirms the occurrence of Maputaland Woody Grassland at Richards Bay. Two of the plant communities identified from the Richards Bay site are distinctively different, despite previously being lumped together by different authorities as either Kwambonambi Grassland or Maputaland Woody Grassland.

Keywords

Coastal Dunes; Endemism; Geoxylic Suffrutex; Kwambonambi Hygrophilous Grassland; Richards Bay; Vegetation Mapping

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