Terrestrial Ecology Research Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Port Elizabeth, P.O. Box 1600, Port Elizabeth, 6000, South Africa
Abiotic determinants of the fynbos/succulent karoo boundary, South Africa
Article first published online: 18 JAN 2010
2001 IAVS - the International Association of Vegetation Science
Journal of Vegetation Science
Volume 12, Issue 1, pages 75–80, February 2001
How to Cite
Lechmere-Oertel, R. G. and Cowling, R. M. (2001), Abiotic determinants of the fynbos/succulent karoo boundary, South Africa. Journal of Vegetation Science, 12: 75–80. doi: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2001.tb02618.x
- Issue published online: 18 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 18 JAN 2010
- Received 30 May 1998; Revision received 18 February 2000; Accepted 24 July 2000.
- Passerina, Ruschia;
This study investigates the influence of texture, soil moisture and nutrient status on the growth and survival of seedlings of two typical fynbos (Leucadendron pubescens and Passerina vulgaris) and succulent karoo (Ruschia spp.) species, which grow in the boundary zone between these two vegetation types. Seedlings of each species were grown in shalederived and sandstone-derived soils and under xeric and mesic regimes. Under the xeric regime, the shale-derived and sandstone-derived soils represented fine and coarse-textured soils, respectively. Under the mesic regime, the same soils represented nutrient-rich and nutrient-poor soils, respectively.
The seedlings of both fynbos species died rapidly under the xeric regime, irrespective of soil type. In contrast, the succulent karoo seedlings survived for over 77 days without water. Under mesic conditions, the fynbos seedlings grew faster than the succulent karoo seedlings, irrespective of soil type. Fynbos seedlings appear to be directly limited by the environment (moisture and salinity), whereas succulent karoo seedlings may be limited by interactions with other plants.