Original Research

Natural woodland vegetation and plant species richness of the urban open spaces in Gauteng, South Africa

C.H. Grobler, G.J. Bredenkamp, L.R. Brown
Koedoe | Vol 45, No 1 | a13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v45i1.13 | © 2002 C.H. Grobler, G.J. Bredenkamp, L.R. Brown | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 December 2002 | Published: 17 January 2002

About the author(s)

C.H. Grobler, University of Pretoria, South Africa
G.J. Bredenkamp, University of Pretoria, South Africa
L.R. Brown, Technikon SA, South Africa

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Abstract

It is estimated that approximately 60 % of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2025. In Gauteng, the most densely populated province in South Africa, the natural open spaces are continually under threat from development. Vegetation is the most physical representation of the environment on which all animals are ultimately dependent. In order to evaluate an areas potential for development or conservation it is necessary to make a thorough inventory of the plant communities and their associated habitats. A survey of the natural woodlands was undertaken as part of a project describing the vegetation of the natural open spaces within the Gauteng region. Relevés were compiled in 73 stratified random sample plots in selected open spaces within the study area. A TWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, indicated six woodland communities that can be grouped into two major woodland communities. A classification and description of these communities as well as their species richness are presented. The results indicate that there are still patches of well-preserved natural vegetation within the study area and contribute to the limited knowledge that presently exists for the vegetation of the area.

Keywords

Braun Blanquet analysis; Classification; Plant communities; urban open

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