Original Research

Phytosociology and plant community utilisation by vervet monkeys of the Blydeberg Conservancy, Limpopo Province

A.S. Barret, L.R. Brown, L. Barret, S.P. Henzi
Koedoe | Vol 49, No 1 | a88 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v49i1.88 | © 2006 A.S. Barret, L.R. Brown, L. Barret, S.P. Henzi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 December 2006 | Published: 18 December 2006

About the author(s)

A.S. Barret, University of South Africa, South Africa
L.R. Brown, University of South Africa, South Africa
L. Barret, University of South Africa, South Africa
S.P. Henzi, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Abstract

The plant communities of the Blydeberg Conservancy were investigated as part of a research project on the foraging ecology of vervet monkeys Cercopithecus aethiops pygerythrus (senso lato) in mixed lowveld bushveld and sour lowveld bushveld areas. To date there are no formal management plans for vervet monkeys. This is attributed to the limited knowledge of vervets and their utilisation of and impacts on ecosystems. From a TWINSPAN classification refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, ten plant communities that can be placed into four major groups were identified. A classification and description of these communities, including a vegetation map are presented. Diagnostic species as well as prominent and less conspicuous species of tree, shrub, herb and grass strata are outlined. Of the ten available plant communities, the vervets utilised only six during the study period. There was an abundant supply of various food sources throughout the year, with movement patterns mostly coinciding with the fruiting times of several tree and other plant species.

Keywords

Braun-Blanquet procedures; Conservancy; Plant communities; TWINSPAN; Vervet monkeys

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