Monitoring the success of an old-field rehabilitation trial in the winter rainfall succulent Karoo : the effect of Oxalis pes-caprae

Ghebremariam, Ghirmai Emun ; Esler, Karen Joan ; Dreyer, Leanne L. (2004-12)

Thesis (MSc (Conservation Ecology)--University of Stellenbosch, 2004.

89 leaves single sided printed, preliminary pages i-xiv and numbered pages 1-89. Includes bibliography. List of tables, figures used.

Scanned with a Hp Scanjet 8250 Scanner to pdf format (OCR).

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The main aim of an old field rehabilitation trial initiated in 2000 was to find a solution to the rehabilitation process for approximately 90 000 ha of unutilised land in the Little Karoo, South Africa. Depending only on a natural succession process to restore unutilised old fields would mean that the period of recovery would be longer than the life span of an average farmer. The trial, initiated by Witbooi in 2000 aimed to see how human intervention can facilitate the process of rehabilitation of old-fields. Three years later, the trial was again monitored to evaluate the success of reseeded indigenous species and method of cultivation in the rehabilitation process. A second objective was based on a result of Witbooi (2002) who showed that there was a tendency of 0. pes-caprae to invade disturbed areas, and aimed to evaluate the effect of this species on the rehabilitation process. Seven indigenous species were reseeded in 2000, of which only four species germinated and survived to the present. These surviving species are Pteronia incana Burm Dc., Tripteris sinuata DC., Ehrharta calycina SM and Chaetobromus dregeanus Nees. The highest level of recruitment in 2001 was recorded for T sinuata followed by P. incana, E. calycina and C. dregeanus. In September 2003, three years after the trial was initiated, the highest number of surviving seedlings were of T sinuata followed by E. calycina, C. dregeanus and P. incana. Five different cultivation methods were used to enhance the germination rate and survival of seedlings. The number of seedlings that survived differs according to the cultivation methods and soil type. Tripteris sinuata had the highest number of surviving seedlings in all cultivation methods off-heuweltjies. Tripteris sinuata was therefore selected to analyse the effect of various cultivation methods. The second objective was to study the impact of Oxalis pes-caprae on species diversity in restored old fields by assessing its ability to disperse in old fields under different cultivation methods. The multivariate ANOVA results showed that there was a significant difference in the density of O. pes-caprae between on and off heuweltjies (sites) and treatments (cultivation methods). There was a significant difference in the density of O. pes-caprae between cultivation methods. A Post Hoc LSD test showed a significant difference in the density of aboveground O. pes-caprae plants between control sites (no disturbance) compared to those sites that underwent some sort of soil disturbance. There was, however, no significant difference in the abundance of O. pes-caprae on plots that underwent some sort of disturbance (i.e Cleared vs Tilled vs Disked vs Ploughed sites) on heuweltjies. There was a significant difference in the number of O. pes-caprae bulbs collected between blocks (on and off-heuweltjie) and significant differences between cultivation methods. There was also a significant difference in bulb diameter between cultivation methods when compared between on and off-heuweltjie sites. The bulbs were classified into four measurement classes. The highest number of small (2-5 mm diameter) and medium (5-8 mm diameter) sized bulbs were found in the Tilled cultivation method. In contrast the Control treatment (uncultivated) had the highest number of large sized bulbs (14-17 mm diameter) and medium bulbs size categories. In conclusion, T. sinuafa has the potential to be used for rehabilitation of old fields in combination with Tilled cultivation method. Attention should be paid to the effect of O. pes-caprae especially on heuweltjies where this species showed a complete dominance in the rehabilitation trial.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die hoof doel van 'n ou veld rehabilitasie eksperiment wat in 2000 geinisieer is was om 'n oplossing te vind vir die rehabilitasie proses vir ongeveer 90 000 ha onbenutte land in die Klein Karoo, Suid-Afrika. Indien daar slegs op natuurlike suksessie prosesse staatgemaak word om die onbenutte ou lande te restoreer, sou dit beteken dat die periode van herstel langer sou wees as die lewensverwagting van die gemiddelde boer. Hierdie eksperiment, wat in 2000 deur Witbooi geinisieer is, het gepoog om te bepaal hoe menslike inmenging die proses van rehabilitasie van ou velde kan fasiliteer. Drie jaar later is die eksperiment weer gemonitor om die sukses van die teruggesaaide inheemse spesies en bewerkings-metodes in die rehabilitasie proses te evalueer. 'n Tweede doelwit is gebaseer op 'n resultaat van Witbooi (2002) wat aangetoon het dat daar 'n neiging was vir O. pes-caprae om versteurde areas binne te dring, en het dus gemik om die effek van hierdie spesie op die rehabilitasie proses te evalueer. Sewe inheemse spesies is in 2000 teruggesaai, waarvan slegs 4 spesies ontkiem en oorleef het tot die hede. Hierdie oorlewende spesies is Pteronia incana Burm Dc., Tripteris sinuata DC., Ehrharta calycina SM en Chaetobromus dregeanus Nees. Die hoogste vlak van werwing in 2001 is vir T sinuata aangeteken, gevolg deur P. incana, E. calycina en C. dregeanus. In September 2003, drie jaar na die aanvang van die eksperiment, was die hoogste getal oorlewende saailinge die van T sinuata, gevolg deur E. calycina, C. dregeanus en P. incana. Vyf verskillende bewerkings-metodes is gebruik om ontkiemingstempo en saailing oorlewing aan te help. Die aantal saailinge wat oorleef het varieer volgens die bewerkings-metode wat gevolge is en die grondtipe. Tripteris sinuata het die grootste aantal oorlewende saailinge gehad in al die bewerkings-metodes af van heuweltjies. Tripteris sinuata is daarom geselekteer om te analiseer vir die effek van verskillende bewerkings-metodes. Die tweede doelwit was om die inpak van Oxalis pes-caprae op spesie-diversiteit in die gerestoreerde ou land te bepaal deur die vermoë van hierdie spesie om in ou velde te versprei onder verskillende bewerkings-metodes te evalueer. Die multi-veranderlike ANOVA resultate het aangetoon dat daar 'n beduidende verskil in O. pes-caprae digtheid tussen heuweltjie en nie-heuweltjie (persele) en verskillende bewerkings-metodes was. Daar was 'n beduidende verskil in die digtheid van o. pes-caprae tussen verskillende bewerkingsmetodes. 'n Post Hoc LSD toets het 'n beduidende verkil in die digtheid van bogrondse O. pes-caprae plante tussen kontrole terreine (geen versteuring) vergeleke met persele wat een of ander vorm van grondversteuring ondergaan het aangedui. Daar was egter geen beduidende verskil in die volopheid van 0. pes-caprae op persele wat een of ander vorm van versteuring ondergaan het (i.e Skoongemaakte vs Getilde vs Geskottelde vs Geploegde persele) op heuweltjies nie. Daar was 'n beduidende verskil in die aantal O. pes-caprae bolle wat versamel is tussen blokke (op en af van heuweltjies) en beduidende verskille tussen die bewerkings-metodes. Daar was ook 'n beduidende verskil in bol-deursnitte tussen bewerkings-metodes wanneer dit tussen heuweltjie en nie-heuweltjie persele vergelyk is. Die bolle is in vier metingsklasse verdeel. Die grootste aantal klein (2-5 mm deursnit) en medium (5-8 mm deursnit) bolle is in die Getilde bewerkings-metode gevind. In kontras het die Kontrole behandeling (onbewerk) die grootste aantal groot (14-17 mm deursnit) en medium bolle gehad. Samevattend het T. sinuata die potensiaal om gebruik te word in die rehabilitasie van ou lande in kombinasie met die tilting bewerkings-metode. Aandag moet geskenk word aan die effek van 0. pes-caprae, veral op heuwetjies waar hierdie spesies 'n totale dominansie in die rehabilitasie eksperiment getoon het.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4481
This item appears in the following collections: