Southern Africa Collection

The Grassland Society of Southern Africa (GSSA) is involved and concerned with the science and practice of range and pasture management. This broad field involves primarily the use and conservation of natural resources. It encompasses applied fields such as livestock production, wildlife management, nature conservation, water catchment management and range and mine-dump rehabilitation. The disciplines include, amongst others, ecology, botany zoology, range and pasture science, animal science, soil science and genetics. This collection includes journal articles from the African Journal of Range and Forage Science as well as related articles and reports from throughout the Southern African region.

Contact
Grassland Society of Southern Africa
Address: 
GSSA
PO Box 41
Hilton
3245
South Africa
Total Entries in Collection: 
3603

Records in Collection

Published: 2012
Species interactions affect plant diversity through the net effects of competition and facilitation, with the latter more prevalent in physically stressful environments when plant cover ameliorates abiotic stress. One explanation for species loss in...
Published: 2012
This historical data set consists of 178 permanent 1-m2 quadrats located on semi-desert grasslands at the Santa Rita Experimental Range, Arizona, USA. Individual plants in these quadrats were identified and mapped annually (in most cases) from 1915...
Published: 2012
Questions Biomass is an important ecological property, but its measurement is destructive and time-consuming and therefore generally missing for historical vegetation plots. Here we propose and test indirect estimation of herbaceous biomass using...
Published: 2012
Investigating how arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)-plant interactions vary with edaphic conditions provides an opportunity to test the context-dependency of interspecific interactions. The relationship between AMF and their host plants in the...
Published: 2012
Vegetation at the aquatic-terrestrial interface can alter landscape features through its growth and interactions with sediment and fluids. Even similar species may impart different effects due to variation in their interactions and feedbacks with...
Published: 2012
Questions Is it possible to restore a target herbaceous plant community on ex-arable land by sowing foundation species? What is the impact of sheep grazing on the restoration of this ecosystem? How can we rapidly evaluate the success of restoration...
Published: 2012
Multiple predators often have effects on their common prey populations that cannot be predicted by summing the effects of each predator at a time. When predators forage on the same vegetation substrate, intraguild interactions might cause emergent...
Published: 2012
Fire is a major force driving the evolution of plants and the structure and function of ecosystems globally. It thus likely operates as an important environmental filter that selects for species that have evolved to tolerate and depend on fire....
Published: 2012
Questions Is the transfer of plant material a feasible measure for the enrichment of species-poor alluvial grassland? Which is the proper degree of grass sward disturbance to enhance germination and establishment of plant material species? Does the...
Published: 2012
Quantifying the vegetation heterogeneity in pastures is important to understand the behavior and performance of grazing animals. In this study, we developed a technique for mapping spatial distribution of botanical composition (perennial ryegrass,...
Published: 2012
There is much concern that the functioning of ecosystems will be affected by human-induced changes in biodiversity, of which land-use change is the most important driver. However, changes in biodiversity may be only one of many pathways through...
Published: 2012
Questions How does horse or sheep grazing affect species richness, diversity and functional composition of plant communities in sub-Mediterranean grasslands? What are the implications of grazing management for species conservation? Location Pastures...
Published: 2012
The relationship between plant nutrient content and insect herbivore populations and community structure has long interested ecologists. Insect herbivores require multiple nutrients, but ecologists have focused mostly on nitrogen (an estimate of...
Published: 2012
Questions How does sowing a regional seed mix compare with a commercial grass mix and natural regeneration for re-creating species-rich hay meadow vegetation? What is the trajectory of vegetation change of these treatments over 10 yr compared with...
Published: 2012
This article describes a place and people undergoing rapid transition using some of the preliminary findings from two years of ongoing ethnographic field work. Through exploring what ethnographic evidence is revealing concerning the impacts of...
Published: 2012
The effects of exotic species invasions on biodiversity vary with spatial scale, and documentation of local-scale changes in biodiversity following invasion is generally lacking. Coupling long-term observations of local community dynamics with...
Published: 2012
Questions What is the overall restoration potential of the persistent soil seed bank of abandoned alvar grassland sites? To what degree does the share of characteristic alvar grassland species in the soil seed bank change during secondary succession...
Published: 2012
Site-specific soil moisture and groundwater levels are key input parameters for ecological modeling. Obtaining such information in a comprehensive manner is difficult for large regions. We studied a floodplain region in the Federal State of...
Published: 2012
Ecosystem stability in variable environments depends on the diversity of form and function of the constituent species. Species phenotypes and ecologies are the product of evolution, and the evolutionary history represented by co-occurring species...
Published: 2012
Questions: Do soil seed banks of semi-arid grasslands reassemble after abandonment from cultivation? Do seeds of native and exotic species persist in the soil? Does time since abandonment affect compositional similarity between the vegetation and...
Published: 2012
Most results of restoration efforts are species-specific and/or site-specific and therefore are not general enough to be easily applied to other species and other sites. Our research addresses the issue of species-specific results by investigating...
Published: 2012
To gain insight into the ecological processes driving community reassembly in disturbed ecosystems, we assessed the phylogenetic dispersion of early- and late-successional tree species occurring in lowland forests of northeastern Costa Rica. Early-...
Published: 2012
Effects of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition and the ability of terrestrial ecosystems to store carbon (C) depend in part on the amount of N retained in the system and its partitioning among plant and soil pools. We conducted a meta-analysis of...
Published: 2012
Question Is a high-resolution remote-sensing system based on a radio-controlled helicopter (the ‘Falcon-PARS system’) an effective tool to obtain images that can be used to identify herbaceous species? Location Watarase wetland, Japan. Methods We...
Published: 2013
Questions: In species response modelling, can a hierarchical logistic regression framework compete against GAM in terms of statistical inference? Are bimodal shapes useful to model species responses along ecological gradients? Location: Germany....
Published: 2012
The demand for knowledge about the tree of life is steadily rising in ecology and other fields, but bioinformatic resources designed to meet these needs remain poorly developed. Ecologists pursuing phylogenetic insights into the organization of...
Published: 2012
No abstract is available for this article.
Published: 2012
In productive agricultural grasslands the relative importance of species identity, species richness and functional group composition for production and yield stability is not clear. We, therefore, tested diversity effects in mixtures of five...
Published: 2012
Phylogenetic diversity-area curves are analogous to species-area curves and quantify the relationship between the phylogenetic diversity of species assemblages and the area over which assemblages are sampled. Here, we developed theoretical...
Published: 2012
Questions What are the differences in speed and pathway of vegetation development on nutrient-poor, unvegetated slopes sown with low-diversity seed mixtures of cultivars and high-diversity seed mixtures of regional species? And how is the...
Published: 2012
Question Does the below-ground bud bank mediate response to drought in restored grasslands? Location Platte River Valley region of south-central Nebraska, USA. Methods We imposed severe drought for one growing season using rainfall manipulation...
Published: 2012
Soil heterotrophic respiration and nutrient mineralization are strongly affected by environmental conditions, in particular by moisture fluctuations triggered by rainfall events. When soil moisture decreases, so does decomposers' activity, with...
Published: 2012
Woody encroachment is a widespread and acute phenomenon affecting grasslands and savannas worldwide. We performed a meta-analysis of 29 studies from 13 different grassland/savanna communities in North America to determine the consequences of woody...
Published: 2012
Question Low quantities of soil nutrients often restrict plant establishment and growth in arid lands and have been partially attributed to the scarcity of organic matter in these ecosystems. Refuse dumps from leaf-cutting ants are a natural source...
Published: 2012
Due to the high altitude of over 4000 m, scattered inhabitation, and prevalent pastoral system, Tibet (Xizang Autonomous Region) is regarded as a unique geographic zone, possessing the most abundant solar energy resources in China. Due to the...
Published: 2012
The intentional introduction of specialist insect herbivores for biological control of exotic weeds provides ideal but understudied systems for evaluating important ecological concepts related to top-down control, plant compensatory responses,...
Published: 2012
Question European landscapes have long been influenced by intensifying use by humans. Although habitat restoration can reverse this process, it is often limited in scope by socioeconomic constraints. Here we present a grassland restoration project...
Published: 2012
To evaluate the nationwide status of grasslands and their soil organic carbon stocks in Japan, we used 1990 as a base year and estimated: (i) the area and the spatial distribution of grasslands, and (ii) the size and the spatial distribution of...
Published: 2012
The CO2 concentration in Earth's atmosphere may double during this century. Plant responses to such an increase depend strongly on their nitrogen status, but the reasons have been uncertain. Here, we assessed shoot nitrate assimilation into...
Published: 2012
Questions (a) What are directions of spontaneous succession; in particular, do target stages (identified as shrubby grassland and semi-natural deciduous woodland) develop, and if so, which species are involved? (b) Are the target stages predictable...
Published: 2012
Questions The co-existence of high numbers of species has always fascinated ecologists, but what and where are the communities with the world records for plant species richness? The species–area relationship is among the best-known patterns in...
Published: 2012
The world's grassland ecosystems are shaped in part by a key functional group of social, burrowing, herbivorous mammals. Through herbivory and ecosystem engineering they create distinctive and important habitats for many other species, thereby...
Published: 2012
The argument that the threat posed by introduced species is overblown is often buttressed by the observation that native species sometimes also become invasive. An examination of the literature on plant invasions in the United States shows that six...
Published: 2012
This article deals with the development of irrigated agriculture in the Upper Indus Basin of Central Ladakh in Northern India. Artificial irrigation, fed by meltwater from glaciers and snow cover, forms the backbone of regional food production in...
Published: 2012
Demographic transition matrices are among the most commonly applied population models for both basic and applied ecological research. The relatively simple framework of these models and simple, easily interpretable summary statistics they produce...
Published: 2012
Question In many industrialized countries biodiversity is declining. Although changes in species composition and species richness have been documented for many individual systems, little long-term research has been done on a regional scale. We...
Published: 2012
Cattle activities may affect pasture biodiversity and productivity. This study investigated the effects of type and size of gaps simulating cattle activities on the recovery and similarity of vegetation community in pastures. Two types of gaps (bare...
Published: 2012
Patterns in biodiversity and species coexistence are the result of multiple interacting processes including evolutionary history, trait variation, species interactions, dispersal, environmental variation, and landscape heterogeneity. Exploring...
Published: 2012
Question To what extent is restoration of vegetation in coastal grasslands delayed by accumulation of nutrients after abandonment of traditional management and subsequent reed encroachment? How does nutrient flow in the plant–soil system react to...