Aspects of ecosystem function in a woodland savanna in South West Africa

Rutherford, Michael Charles (1975-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 1975.

Some digitised pages may appear illegible due to the condition of the original hard copy.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A study was made of certain relations operating within a South West African woodland savanna ecosystem which was characterised by simplification within most of its basic components. . Main attention was given to the relatively unexplored field of spatial and structural organisation of the primary producer component in relation to its quantified intra-seasonal functional changes including its phenology. Simple mathematical model descriptions of seasonal mass change of the herbaceous parts of the primary producer component were derived. Various parts of the primary producer component were also evaluated in terms of some of the main climatic driving forces of the ecosystem, decomposition relations in the form of disappearance rates, soil-vegetation mineral relations and consumer (mainly insect) relations. Gross effects of manipulation of the ecosystem type by fire and management is included.

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