Vegetation patterns and plant reproductive processes in the succulent Karoo

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Cowling, Richard M en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Esler, Karen Joan en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-20T12:34:55Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-20T12:34:55Z
dc.date.issued 1993 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Esler, K. 1993. Vegetation patterns and plant reproductive processes in the succulent Karoo. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/21846
dc.description.abstract This thesis focuses on vegetation patterns and plant reproductive processes at the Tierberg Karoo Research Centre (33°1 0'S, 22°17'E) in the semi-arid southern Succulent Karoo, South Africa. It begins with an investigation into the roles of soil properties and competition in explaining variation in species distributions. The aim was to investigate changes in soil properties associated with species turnover (replacement series). Patterns of species abundances have been attributed to cyclic succession driven by disturbance and inter-specific competition. Areas where dominant species replaced each other over apparent edaphic discontinuities were investigated to test the roles of soil properties and competition in explaining variation in species distributions. Only soil pH differed significantly across the gradients studied. However, inter-and intra-specific· competitive interactions were also inferred. It was concluded that species distribution patterns resulted from the combined effects of edaphic factors and competition. The bulk of the thesis focuses on the reproductive biology of key species in the cyclic succession in order to understand the demographic processes underlying these patterns. The vegetation model proposes that heuweltjies (or mima-like mounds) are the source of disturbance which initiates the successional process. A study of reproductive attributes of dominant species occurring on and off heuweltjies indicated that species occurring on heuweltjies had opportunistic life-history traits; seeds did not germinate readily and canopy seed banks were maintained. Species off heuweltjies had higher overall germination and did not maintain seed banks in the plant canopies. The differences in reproductive attributes were related to competition and disturbance. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Botany en_ZA
dc.title Vegetation patterns and plant reproductive processes in the succulent Karoo en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Biological Sciences en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
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