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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/2177

Title: Landscape fragmentation in South Coast Renosterveld, South Africa, in relation to rainfall and topography
Authors: Kemper, J
Cowling, RM
Richardson, DM
Forsyth, GG
McKelly, DH
Keywords: Agriculture
Conservation planning
Environmental predictors
Habitat loss
Landscape fragmentation
Renosterveld
Issue Date: Apr-2000
Publisher: Blackwell Science Asia
Citation: Kemper, J, et al. 2000. Landscape fragmentation in South Coast Renosterveld, South Africa, in relation to rainfall and topography. Austral Ecology, vol. 25(2), pp 179-186
Abstract: The South Coast Renosterveld has been fragmented extensively by agriculture. The extent of this fragmentation in terms of overall habitat loss, fragment sizes and fragment numbers has not been described previously, thereby limiting the development of conservation strategies for this vegetation type. Patterns of Renosterveld loss in three sectors along a west-east gradient were described using LANDSAT imagery and a Geographical Information System-based program (FRAGSTATS) for spatial pattern analysis. These patterns were then correlated with rainfall and topography measures, which are indicators of agricultural potential. Over 80% of the South Coast Renosterveld has been cultivated. Fragmentation levels increased significantly from east to west, with 33% of natural vegetation remaining in the east and only 4% in the west. Topographical variables were the strongest predictors of patterns of Renosterveld loss, with fragments being largely confined to slopes too steep for ploughing; they therefore face little risk of future cultivation. These results have implications for conservation planning options for the South Coast Renosterveld. There is the potential for large reserves in the east, as well as corridor reserves along major river valleys, but for only small, isolated reserves in the west.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/2177
http://hdl.handle.net/10204/2177
ISSN: 1442-9985
Appears in Collections:Environmental management
Environmental and resource economics
General science, engineering & technology

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