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Title: National Vegetation Map of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland comparing versions 2006-2012: Focusing on Fynbos
Authors: Dayaram (SANBI), Anisha
Skowno (SANBI), Andrew
Powrie (SANBI), Les W.
Keywords: Fynbos
National Vegetation Map
Issue Date: 4-Aug-2015
Abstract: The Vegetation map of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland is used by researchers, conservation planners and practitioners. The wide application of the resource highlights the need for the vegetation map to have accurate data inputs, a reliable map and clear vegetation type descriptions. The first version of the VegMap of Southern Africa was based on the best available data in 2006 and now involves a continuous and iterative process to improve the maps relevance and accuracy. Two updates to the map have been published since the original 2006 version. Changes have included additions, deletions, and alterations to the boundaries of vegetation types. These updates have been based submitted suggestions and queries from several botanists and ecologists. The three versions of the map were compared (2006, 2009, 2012) and the patterns that emerged highlighted the need for fine scale data from Gauteng, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Orange Free State and the North-West province. Areas of the Western Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal have been refined with fine scale mapping and provincial projects. The Western Cape province had the second highest total updated land area. Most changes in the province were boundary adjustments to existing vegetation types with a few new vegetation types and sub-types added. Areas updated within the Fynbos region include parts of the Kamiesberg, Hopefield, Leipoldtville, Bokkeveld, Namaqualand, Matjiesfontein, Montagu, Overberg and Kogelberg. This work followed the framework used by the Vegetation Map project allowing for efficient inclusion in the map. Overall, while significant progress has been made in the Fynbos- the biome is diverse and still remains largely undersampled. Therefore, large areas of the Fynbos still require refinement and updating on the Vegetation Map
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