Competition and herbivory influence growth and survival of shrubs on old fields: Implications for restoration of renosterveld shrubland
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2009
2005 IAVS - the International Association of Vegetation Science
Journal of Vegetation Science
Volume 16, Issue 6, pages 685–692, December 2005
How to Cite
Midoko-Iponga, D., Krug, C. B. and Milton, S. J. (2005), Competition and herbivory influence growth and survival of shrubs on old fields: Implications for restoration of renosterveld shrubland. Journal of Vegetation Science, 16: 685–692. doi: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2005.tb02411.x
- Issue published online: 24 FEB 2009
- Article first published online: 24 FEB 2009
- Received 9 November 2004; Accepted 10 October 2005
- Mediterranean shrubland;
- Olea europaea ssp. africana;
- South Africa;
- Vegetation dynamics
How does competition by grasses, grazing by indigenous large herbivores, and their interaction affect the establishment, growth and survival of transplanted native woody and herbaceous seedlings on an abandoned agricultural field?
West Coast Renosterveld, Cape Floral Region, South Africa.
Indigenous shrub seedlings were planted in different treatments, where either grass competition or herbivory or both were manipulated. Survival, growth and canopy cover of the seedlings were measured on a monthly basis over 14 months, and compared between treatments.
Experimental transplanting of indigenous shrubs into an old field showed that most of the plants investigated competed for resources with grasses on the field, and competition negatively affected the seedlings throughout the experiment. Mortality was higher, and growth was reduced for seedlings exposed to grass competition. Herbivory alone had no significant impact on the target species with the exception of Olea europaea ssp. africana. There was no significant interaction between competition and herbivory.
Reduction of herbaceous competition significantly accelerates shrubland recovery on abandoned agricultural fields in renosterveld.