South Africa’s Cape floral kingdom is one of the richest areas in the world for plant biodiversity. Of the 9,000 plant species found here, a majority are native fynbos vegetation, which covers the region’s magnificent mountains, and lowland valleys and coastal plains.
Which South Africa biome is the richest in terms of endemic plant species diversity?
The Succulent Karoo biome is home to the world’s richest succulent flora. It has approximately 1954 endemic plant species, and is the only semi-arid region to qualify as a hotspot of global significance. Despite its importance, only 2% of the biome is currently protected.
Which biome in South Africa has the highest level of endemism?
The mesic thicket, which has the highest levels of endemism and species richness, is under the greatest pressure. South African thickets are similar in structure and generic composition to the thicket communities found throughout tropical and subtropical Africa (White 1983; Cowling 1984).
Why is the fynbos regarded as a rich biome?
Fynbos vegetation is flammable and requires occasional fires in order to regenerate. The Fynbos Biome includes both Fynbos and Renosterveld vegetation. Fynbos tends to grow on poor soil and is extremely rich in plant species. Renosterveld grows on richer soil and can support more animals.
Which biome is the largest in South Africa?
The Savanna Biome is the largest Biome in southern Africa, occupying 46% of its area, and over one-third the area of South Africa. It is well developed over the lowveld and Kalahari region of South Africa and is also the dominant vegetation in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
What is the smallest biome in South Africa?
Forests are southern Africa’s smallest biome, and although it is the region’s largest forest complex (Acocks 1953), the remaining Knysna forest covers a mere 568 km2 (Midgley et al.
Why is it called fynbos?
The word fynbos comes from the Dutch for fine-leaved plants. Many fynbos plants depend on fire for their survival, some needing the heat for their seeds to germinate. Many popular garden plants, such as geraniums and freesias have their origin in fynbos.
What lives in a thicket?
There are many evergreen and succulent trees and shrubs. Many of the plants have spines. Wild animals of the Thicket Biome include the African Elephant, Kudu, Vervet Monkey and Bushbuck. The Subtropical Thicket Ecosystem Plan (STEP) has been drawn up to conserve this region.
What are the least protected biomes in South Africa?
Grassland, Thicket, and Nama-Karoo: the least protected biomes. Grassland is also one of South Africa’s largest and most threatened biomes.
Why does Africa have so many biomes?
In the past millennium, human numbers have increased and migrations have moved peoples southward through the forests of Central Africa and into eastern and southern Africa. These movements have modified the biomes through grazing pressures on grasslands and agriculture in savanna.
What is so special about fynbos?
The fynbos ecoregion is within the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome. In fields related to biogeography, fynbos is known for its exceptional degree of biodiversity and endemism, consisting about 80% (8,500 fynbos) species of the Cape floral kingdom where nearly 6,000 of them are endemic.
Why is fynbos so special?
The species diversity of fynbos is one of the main things that makes it so special. … In addition, when looking at diversity at the macro-scale within fynbos vegetation, it is home to between 150-170 unique species per 1,000 km thus making it two to three times more species diverse than the world’s rainforests.
Why is the fynbos biome so important?
It’s valuable because it is under threat – due in no small part to agriculture, invading plant species, and human development. Fynbos is a totally unique kind of vegetation that makes up 80 per cent of the Cape Floral Kingdom, two-thirds of which are found only in the Cape (nowhere else on earth).
What are the 7 major terrestrial biomes?
In the terrestrial category, 7 biomes include tropical rainforests, temperate forests, deserts, tundra, taiga – also known as boreal forests – grasslands and savanna.
What is the largest savanna in Africa?
The largest savannas are located in Africa near the equator. One of the most famous African savannas is Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, which is known for its large wildebeest and zebra populations. The park is also home to lions, leopards, elephants, hippos, and gazelles.
What biome is Africa?
- Mediterranean Forest Biome.
- Deserts (e.g. the Sahara, Kalahari)
- Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands,Savannas and Shrublands.
- Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests.
- Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests.
- Flooded Grasslands and Savannas.
- Afro-Alpine Grasslands and Shrublands.