Original Research

Analysis of the riparian vegetation (Ia land type) of the proposed Vhembe-Dongola National Park, Limpopo Province, South Africa

A.R. Götze, S.S. Cilliers, H. Bezuidenhout, K. Kellner
Koedoe | Vol 46, No 2 | a55 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v46i2.55 | © 2003 A.R. Götze, S.S. Cilliers, H. Bezuidenhout, K. Kellner | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 December 2003 | Published: 18 December 2003

About the author(s)

A.R. Götze, Potchefstroom University for C.H.E., South Africa
S.S. Cilliers, Potchefstroom University for C.H.E., South Africa
H. Bezuidenhout, S.A. National Parks, South Africa
K. Kellner, Potchefstroom University for C.H.E., South Africa

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Abstract

The establishment of the Vhembe-Dongola National Park has been an objective of several conservationists for many years. The ultimate objective is that this park would become a major component of a transfrontier park shared by Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The aim of this study was to identify, classify and describe the plant communities present in the Ia land type of the proposed area for the park. Sampling was done by means of the Braun-Blanquet method. A total of 70 stratified random relevés were sampled in the Ia land type. All relevé data was imported into the database TURBOVEG after which the numerical classification technique TWINSPAN was used as a first approximation. Subsequently Braun-Blanquet procedures were used to refine data and a phytosociological table was constructed, using the visual editor, MEGATAB. From the phytosociological table four plant communities were identified and described in the Ia land type. The ordination algorithm, DECORANA, was applied to the floristic data in order to illustrate floristic relationships between plant communities, to detect possible gradients in and between communities and to detect possible habitat gradients and/or disturbance gradients associated with vegetation gradients.

Keywords

National parks; Phytosociology; Vegetation classification; Braun-Blanquet

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