Original Research

A vegetation description and floristic analyses of the springs on the Kammanassie Mountain, Western Cape

G. Cleaver, L.R. Brown, G.J. Bredenkamp
Koedoe | Vol 47, No 2 | a78 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v47i2.78 | © 2004 G. Cleaver, L.R. Brown, G.J. Bredenkamp | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 December 2004 | Published: 18 December 2004

About the author(s)

G. Cleaver, UNISA, South Africa
L.R. Brown, UNISA, South Africa
G.J. Bredenkamp, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The Kammanassie Mountain is a declared mountain catchment area and a Cape mountain zebra Equus zebra zebra population is preserved on the mountain. The high number of springs on the mountain not only provides water for the animal species but also contributes to overall ecosystem functioning. Long-term conservation of viable ecosystems requires a broader understanding of the ecological processes involved. It was therefore decided that a classification, description and mapping of the spring vegetation of the Kammanassie Mountain be undertaken. A TWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, revealed 11 major plant communities that could be related to geological origin. Habitat factors associated with differences in vegetation include topography, soil type and grazing. Descriptions of the plant communities include diagnostic species as well as prominent and less conspicuous species of the tree, shrub and herbaceous layers. The results also indicate a high species richness compared to similar regions and the difference between plant communities of wet and dry springs. This data is important for long-term monitoring of the spring ecosystems as well as for the compilation of management plans.

Keywords

Springs; Kammanassie Mountain; Braun-Blanquet; Plant communities; TWINSPAN; Plant species richness

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