Last update: March 30, 2012 11:11:47 AM E-mail Print


Vegetation change in the Karoo


Department of Agriculture (Karoo Region), Private Bag X529, Middelburg, 5900



Large scale and often radical change has taken place in Karoo vegetation over the past three centuries. This change can be equated with desertification and desertization processes. Change largely embodies the thinning out of the vegetation, decrease or destruction of perennial grass, and an increase and spreading of undesirable karoo bush and woody species. In many instances veld types have changed and the drier types extended into the moister types. The overall vegetation change has been ordinated into five broadly overlapping phases. These are primary degradation, denudation, revegetation, secondary degradation and a desertified phase. The main factor causing change is over-exploitation by sheep. Seasonal fluctuations in climate enhance the instability of the vegetation.




Proceeding Grassland Society Southern Africa 18