By W. Richard J. Dean, Suzanne Milton

The Succulent and Nama Karoo shape a part of the arid southwestern region of Africa, an enormous sector of rugged landscapes and coffee treeless plants. experiences of this precise biome have yielded interesting insights into the ecology of its natural world. This booklet is the 1st to synthesize those stories, providing info on biogeographic styles and existence procedures, shape and serve as of animals and crops, foraging ecology, landscape-level dynamics, and anthropogenic affects. The contributions provide novel analyses of the standards distinguishing the Karoo from different temperate deserts and problem generalizations approximately semi-arid ecosystems.

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Extra info for The Karoo: Ecological Patterns and Processes

Example text

This is evident from the large range of multivariate space occupied by the four desert sites used in this analysis (Figs. 4(b)). g. Jürgens 1991; Desmet, 1996) as a southern extension of the Namib Desert. Closely related to these two sites is Namibe in southern Angola. The fourth site, Lobito, at the most northern extremity of the Namib cannot be separated from Orange River Nama-karoo and can be regarded as having a similar climate (Fig. 1(b)). , 1983). This is due to a permanent temperature inversion over cold Benguela current and adjacent landmass.

K. ,) chemical processes (involving water) and biological processes (which move particles to create spaces or yields metabolic products utilized in chemical weathering). Consequently, the two most important controls on soil formation are the climatic conditions of the region and the nature of the parent material. The lack of moisture in arid regions results in less weathering and leaching when compared to humid regions, so that large areas of bare rock may be present and very old soils are preserved.

Thus, there would be little benefit for plants in a hyper-arid environment to absorb fog moisture directly from the leaves. A more likely route whereby plants could benefit from fog moisture would be by absorbing condensation on the sand surface (Danin, 1991) and as a result of stem flow. This route would facilitate the uptake of both fog and dew condensation on the soil surface. Louw and Seely (1982) sprayed tritiated water on the top 1 cm of soil near Salsola subulicola growing in the Namib, and found efficient water absorption by the plant.

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