Monitoring the re-growth rate of alien vegetation after fire on Agulhas Plain, South Africa

Fatoki, Oluwakemi Busayo (2007-03)

Thesis (MSc (Geography and Environmental Studies))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


The Agulhas Plain, an area rich in fynbos, was monitored within six months after the February 2006 fire. The potential of using medium resolution imagery, specifically from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) in determining the re-growth rates of indigenous and alien vegetation types after fire was explored. Pixels representing dense areas of each vegetation type were selected. There was a significant difference in the pixels selected for each vegetation type. A time series of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data was derived and fitted to functions, such as Double Logistics and Asymmetric Gaussian as implemented in the TIMESAT software. The results show that alien vegetation grows faster after a fire occurrence than in its absence. Within the specified months of monitoring, it was observed that fynbos grew faster than the alien vegetation. Also, the re-growth rates of vegetation on the coastal soils were higher than those of vegetation on the inland soils. The determination of the re-growth rate was necessary to assist resource managers determine the appropriate time for follow-up of clearing invaded sites after fire.

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