Original Research

Major plant communities of the Marakele National Park

P.J. van Staden, G.J. Bredenkamp
Koedoe | Vol 48, No 2 | a101 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v48i2.101 | © 2005 P.J. van Staden, G.J. Bredenkamp | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 December 2005 | Published: 18 December 2005

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P.J. van Staden, University of Pretoria, South Africa
G.J. Bredenkamp, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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To manage and conserve any national park efficiently, a profound knowledge of the ecology is a prerequisite, and to achieve that an inventory of the biotic and abiotic components must be undertaken. As a contribution to such a program this information was collected for Marakele National Park. The study area covers 290.51 km² in the southwestern part of the Limpopo Province. The underlying parent rock of the study area is sandstone, shale and mudstone with several diabase dykes. The soils range from shallow to deep sandy soils on sandstone and clayey soils on diabase and mudstone. The rainfall varies from 556 mm to 630 mm per annum, mainly during the summer months. The study area experiences warm summers with temperatures of up to 32 ºC and cool, dry winters with frost in the low-lying areas. The vegetation of the study area was classified in a hierarchical, plant sociological system by using TWINSPAN and the Braun - Blanquet technique. The floristic data from 130 relevés were classified to identify five major plant communities, namely one forest community, three savanna/grassland communities and one wetland community. These plant communities were ecologically interpreted by habitat.The phytosociological table was condensed to a synoptic table to describe the major plant communities.


Braun-Blanquet; classification; major plant communities; phytosociology; synoptic table.


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