Fynbos: Ecology and Management, by Karen J. Esler, Shirley M. Pierce and Charl de Villiers
The fynbos region is one of the most spectacularly diverse places on Earth. This is not an idle statement. When one considers the diversity of insects, freshwater and marine species also associated with the Cape, this hotspot is arguably the hottest of all. Scientists Karen J. Esler, Shirley M. Pierce and Charl de Villiers introduce to the ecology and management of the fynbos region.
Whether you are a landowner or a manager of a piece of natural veld in the Cape, or a visitor to this unique corner of Africa, it will not take you long to appreciate the extraordinary richness of the region. Here, spectacular mountain ranges, inland valleys, coastal areas and wetlands collectively house a unique biodiversity with global significance - so much so that large parts of it have gained World Heritage Site Status. This book is a guide that will help people who visit, live, manage or own land in this unique corner of Africa to appreciate and manage its extraordinary natural richness. South Africa's southwestern and southern regions, home to fynbos, renosterveld and strandveld, experience a suite of demanding environmental conditions. Summer drought, low soil nutrients, and recurring fire and wind are major challenges, but the plants, insects and animals that live here have responded with remarkable innovations, allowing them to thrive and diversify in an environment that might otherwise be thought of as stressful. Maintaining this unique biodiversity while simultaneously sustaining livelihoods in such an environment, is also a challenge. Recognising this, we trust that the information provided in this book (that draws on the collective knowledge of many who have made fynbos their life's work), will provide the guidance you may need to make informed decisions about the management of your fynbos inheritance. Management and conservation decisions that benefit biodiversity benefit people too. Intact, healthy natural vegetation delivers a range of essential services to people (referred to as ecosystem services), including amongst many others, water production, pollination for crops, protection of river banks and prevention of soil loss. To maintain high ecosystem service "returns", we need to maintain ecosystem function, which means the processes maintaining diversity, such as the natural fire cycle, need also to be maintained. Maintaining our ecological infrastructure and its functions is no easy task - it requires deep knowledge of the system, its components and the diverse landscape in which the diversity is found. The more we know about how this extraordinary system works the better we will be able to adapt our management decisions to avoid negative impacts of disasters such as extreme droughts or floods. With this in mind, Fynbos: Ecology and Management has been compiled to assist the practical and far-sighted land user to practice ecologically friendly veld management and to understand the effects of fire, alien plant invasion, grazing and restoration on fynbos vegetation. This guide will also be useful to prospective land users who need to estimate the potential and suitability of land for a planned enterprise before making the investment, or who are curious about the fynbos and its plants and animals. All you need to know in order to evaluate your veld is how to read the plants and soil - the vital signs of the health of your land.
This is an excerpt from the guide: Fynbos: Ecology and Management, by Karen J. Esler, Shirley M. Pierce and Charl de Villiers.
Title: Fynbos: Ecology and Management
Author: Karen J. Esler, Shirley M. Pierce, Charl de Villiers
Publisher: Briza Publications
Pretoria, South Africa 2014
ISBN 9781920217372 / ISBN 978-1-920217-37-2
Softcover, 21 x 24 cm, 272 pages, 250 colour photographs
Esler, Karen J. und Pierce, Shirley M. und de Villiers, Charl im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Fynbos: Ecology and Management is suitable for use in all types of fynbos, renosterveld and strandveld, from Clanwilliam and Nieuwoudtville, south to Cape Town and to Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth.
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