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
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 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
1. We provide a brief overview of progress in our understanding of introduced plant species. 2. Three main conclusions emerge from our review: (i) Many lines of research, including the search for traits that make species good invaders, or that make...
Published: 2012
Grime's CSR and Tilman's resource-ratio theories are two major contributions to our understanding of plant community dynamics. They have both been corroborated empirically, whilst providing several contradictory predictions. Notably,...
Published: 2012
Understanding mechanisms underlying fire regime effects on savanna fauna is difficult because of a wide range of possible trophic interactions and feedbacks. Yet, understanding mechanisms underlying fauna dynamics is crucial for conservation...
Published: 2012
1. Understanding large-scale distribution shifts is vital to predict species responses to changes in the environment. Such shifts occur as a consequence of habitat distribution, dispersal processes and the influence of environment factors. 2....
Published: 2012
1. Foliar endophytic fungi in herbaceous plants are known to be diverse, yet studies characterizing the fungal communities in roots and shoots of plants across time are absent. These fungi are supposedly ubiquitous in nature, infecting plants...
Published: 2012
Tropical savannas are the world's most fire-prone biome, and savanna biotas are generally well adapted to frequent fire. However, in northern Australia there are concerns that recent increases in the frequency and extent of high-intensity fires...
Published: 2012
Large-scale (circa 500 ha) restoration of species-rich dry grasslands was conducted using a high-diversity regional seed mixture in the White Carpathians Protected Landscape Area and Biosphere Reserve, Czech Republic, Central Europe. After sowing,...
Published: 2012
1.?Rhizosphere bacteria antagonistic to fungal pathogens improve plant performance by preventing infection. In temperate grasslands, primary productivity often increases with plant diversity, and we hypothesized that this effect may in part rely on...
Published: 2012
According to the global latitudinal diversity gradient, a decrease in animal and plant species richness exists from the tropics towards higher latitudes. The aim of this study was to describe the latitudinal distribution patterns of Chilean...
Published: 2012
This paper documents the effects of fire on grass-layer invertebrates in tropical savannas of the Kimberley region of north-western Australia, in the context of resource availability for consumers. Inappropriate fire regimes have been identified as...
Published: 2012
Metapopulation and metacommunity theories occupy a central role in ecology, but can be difficult to apply to plants. Challenges include whether seed dispersal is sufficient for population connectivity, the role of seed banks and problems with...
Published: 2012
Local plant community assembly is influenced by a series of filters that affect the recruitment and establishment of species. These filters include regional factors that limit seeds of any given species from reaching a local site as well as local...
Published: 2012
The interactions between vegetation dynamics, fuel dynamics and fire hazard in rehabilitation after bauxite mining at Gove, Northern Territory, Australia were investigated. It was found that a policy of fire exclusion had led to fuel loads of the...
Published: 2012
The relative constancy of the lower limit on Earth’s atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]a) during major tectonic episodes over the final 24 million years (Ma) of the Cenozoic is surprising because they are expected to draw-down [CO2]a by enhancing...
Published: 2012
Recent evidence suggests that soil nutrient heterogeneity, a ubiquitous feature of terrestrial ecosystems, modulates plant responses to ongoing global change (GC). However, we know little about the overall trends of such responses, the GC drivers...
Published: 2012
Fire is an important driver of nutrient cycling in savannas. Here, we determined the impact of fire frequency on total and soluble soil nitrogen (N) pools in tropical savanna. The study sites consisted of 1-ha experimental plots near Darwin,...
Published: 2012
Question: What are the long-term effects of grazing exclusion on the population structure and dynamics of, and interactions among, three dominant shrub species? Location: Grass-shrub Patagonian steppe, Chubut, Argentina. Methods: Permanent plots...
Published: 2012
1.?Soil resource availability and disturbance are widely recognized as key drivers of plant community structure. However, the relative importance of different plant traits in determining species abundance following shifts in soil resource...
Published: 2012
Effective biodiversity monitoring is critical to evaluate, learn from, and ultimately improve conservation practice. Well conceived, designed and implemented monitoring of biodiversity should: (i) deliver information on trends in key aspects of...
Published: 2012
Many studies in recent years have investigated the effects of climate change on the future of biodiversity. In this review, we first examine the different possible effects of climate change that can operate at individual, population, species,...
Published: 2012
1.?Recent studies have suggested that the simultaneous maintenance of multiple ecosystem functions (multifunctionality) is positively supported by species richness. However, little is known regarding the relative importance of other community...
Published: 2012
Mallee-heath and mallee communities occur in a mosaic across large areas of south-western Australia, in topographically subdued and fire-prone landscapes. Consequently, it could be expected that these communities would have historically experienced...
Published: 2012
The structure of tropical savanna ecosystems is influenced by fire frequency and intensity. There is particular interest in the extent to which long-term fire exclusion can result in a shift from savanna to forest vegetation that is not easily...
Published: 2012
1.?Although a major part of plant biomass is underground, we know little about the contribution of different species to root biomass in multispecies communities. We summarize studies on root distributions and plant responses to species-specific soil...
Published: 2012
Both plant species diversity and genetic diversity within a plant species can affect community properties and ecosystem processes. However, the relative contribution of species diversity and genetic diversity to ecosystem functioning is poorly known...
Published: 2012
In humid savannas, the transition from juvenile to mature tree sizes is thought to be a major demographic bottleneck because smaller plants are topkilled by frequent fires. Species with the highest net rates of sapling growth should dominate the...
Published: 2012
1. Callitris intratropica is a long-lived, obligate-seeding, fire-sensitive overstorey conifer that typically occurs in small groves (0.1ha) of much higher tree densities than the surrounding, eucalypt-dominated tropical savanna in northern...
Published: 2012
The relative effects of tree clearing, increased livestock densities and nutrient enrichment have rarely been compared across markedly different organism types, but negative effects are generally predicted. In contrast, adoption of rotational...
Published: 2012
I pose eight questions central to understanding how biological invasions affect ecosystems, assess progress towards answering those questions and suggest ways in which progress might be made. The questions concern the frequency with which invasions...
Published: 2012
1. The effects of habitat fragmentation on plant population genetic structure and diversity are relatively well studied. Yet, most of these studies used molecular tools focusing on neutral genetic markers, and much less is known about the potential...
Published: 2012
No abstract is available for this article.
Published: 2012
Savanna burning for greenhouse gas abatement presents an opportunity for remote Aboriginal communities of northern Australia to engage with the mainstream economy while fulfilling cultural obligations for land stewardship. The recently established...
Published: 2012
1. Despite recent interest in linkages between above- and below-ground communities and their consequences for ecosystem processes, much remains unknown about their responses to long-term ecosystem change. We synthesize multiple lines of evidence...
Published: 2012
Facilitation (positive interaction) has received increasing attention in plant ecology over the last decade. Just as for competition, distinguishing different modes of facilitation (mutualistic, commensal or even antagonistic) may be crucial. We...
Published: 2012
Very little is known of how disturbance affects community assembly rules. We examine this in three disturbance states in each of two ski areas on southern New Zealand mountains. Theory suggests that a community will become progressively more...
Published: 2012
1.?There are now approximately 10 examples of plants that use volatile cues emitted by damaged neighbours to adjust their defences against herbivores. For two of these examples, preliminary evidence suggested that plants may experience net benefits...
Published: 2012
The higher flammability of tropical savanna, compared with forest, plays a critical role in mediating vegetation-environment feedbacks, alternate stable states, and ultimately, the distribution of these two biomes. Multiple factors contribute to...
Published: 2010
Global change (climate change together with other worldwide anthropogenic processes such as increasing trade, air pollution and urbanization) will affect plant health at the genetic, individual, population and landscape level. Direct effects include...
Published: 2012
1.?Calcareous grasslands are communities of high conservation value, often characterized by high plant species richness. These grasslands have experienced a major decline in area throughout Europe, principally resulting from agricultural...
Published: 2012
The radiation use efficiency (RUE) model is one of the most used tools to generate large spatial and temporal scale net primary productivity (NPP) estimations by remote sensing. It involves two key issues to make accurate estimations of NPP: the...
Published: 2012
This paper examines the economic potential for fire management to provide offsets to carbon markets in the savannas of northern Australia. Long-term field trials in Australia’s savannas have quantified greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions abatement...
Published: 2012
1. Ecosystem services (ES) lie at the core of the interactions among humans and ecosystems. Fundamental understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying the simultaneous provision of multiple ES has been lagging behind policy and management...
Published: 2012
Recent declines in biodiversity have given new urgency to questions about the relationship between land-use change, biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Despite the existence of a large body of research on the effects of land use on species...
Published: 2012
Long-term ecological studies are critical for providing key insights in ecology, environmental change, natural resource management and biodiversity conservation. In this paper, we briefly discuss five key values of such studies. These are: (1)...
Published: 2012
Theoretical models show that environmental heterogeneity and dispersal are major determinants of species diversity at multiple scales, yet there are few studies from real landscapes that adequately integrate variation in the surrounding matrix....
Published: 2012
Symbiosis between cool-season grasses and vertically transmitted fungal endophytes are common and significantly impact on ecosystem function. This makes the understanding of the underlying mechanisms to symbiotic individuals frequency in local...
Published: 2012
Predictive models of species distributions are typically developed with data collected along roads. Roadside sampling may provide a biased (nonrandom) sample, however, it is currently unknown whether roadside sampling limits the accuracy of...
Published: 2012
1. A change in a climate variable may alter a species' abundance not only through a direct effect on that species vital rates, but also through 'indirect' effects mediated by species interactions. While recent work has highlighted...