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: 2007
A national-level land degradation risk monitoring system identified an important grazing area in central northern Namibia as an area at risk of environmental change. A time series analysis of primary indicators used for this monitoring system for...
Published: 2008
Semi-arid areas are often considered to be environmentally and economically marginal, a situation which has been exacerbated by economic change, shifts in agricultural production and land use, and changing state policy. These themes are explored...
Published: 2008
Long environmental proxy records are very scarce in semi-dry continental areas and often those available present conflicting interpretations. However, more in-depth investigation of apparent contradictions, can address these problems. For example,...
Published: 2008
This review discusses persistent tensions in efforts to secure land rights in Africa's drylands. Some researchers and practitioners advocate for formal, legal recognition of group rights as a way to secure access for drylands resource users....
Published: 2007
Gladysvale Cave is one of the few Plio-Pleistocene hominin-bearing cave sites in South Africa that contains a well-stratified cave fill with clastic sediments interspersed with flowstones. The clastic sediments can be divided into units based on the...
Published: 2008
In South Africa, formal titles to land have generally been restricted to 'commercial' farms under white ownership. However, in Namaqualand in the Northern Cape Province, mapping of individual dryland plots became part of the land reform...
Published: 2006
In this study we employ the TRIFFID (Top-down Representation of Interactive Flora and Foliage Including Dynamics) Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (DGVM) and the Hadley Centre Atmospheric General Circulation Model version 3 (HadAM3 GCM) to...
Published: 2008
Establishing the habitat preferences of early hominin taxa is a necessary, though difficult, requirement for understanding the interaction between environmental change and hominin evolution. The environments typically associated with...
Published: 2007
We present a synthesis of modern phytolith studies from Africa, to infer the potential and limitations of phytolith assemblages to reconstruct vegetation and tree cover density. The modern dataset includes 149 phytolith assemblages of surface soil...
Published: 2006
Summary Restoration of ecological processes is key to restoring the capacity of ecosystems to support social, economic, cultural and aesthetic values. The sustainability of the restored system also depends on processes associated with carbon,...
Published: 2006
Several stable carbon isotopic studies have shown that South African australopiths consumed significant quantities of C4 resources (tropical grasses, sedges, or animals that eat those foods), but relatively little is known about the consumption of...
Published: 2008
The sediment records of three shallow climate-sensitive lakes in equatorial East Africa (Chibwera and Kanyamukali in western Uganda, and Baringo in central Kenya) contain clear lithological evidence of an episode of complete desiccation in the...
Published: 2006
This article sets out to examine the extent to which the South African government's land reform programme might provide a way out of poverty for its beneficiaries. The research was undertaken with two previously marginalised rural communities...
Published: 2007
Plio-Pleistocene East African grassland expansion and faunal macroevolution, including that of our own lineage, are attributed to global climate change. To further understand environmental factors of early hominin evolution, we reconstruct the...
Published: 2007
Studies conducted at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR, South Africa) identified extracts from Hoodia species, in particular Hoodia pilifera and Hoodia gordonii, as possessing appetite suppressing properties. Two pregnane...
Published: 2006
Savannah (C4) grasses are first recorded at low latitudes in the mid-Miocene prior to their expansion towards mid-latitudes by approximately the Miocene-Pliocene boundary. In an attempt to determine the timing of the spread of savannah grasses into...
Published: 2007
The late Cenozoic climate of Africa is a critical component for understanding human evolution. African climate is controlled by major tectonic changes, global climate transitions, and local variations in orbital forcing. We introduce the special...
Published: 2007
Major morphological and behavioral innovations in early human evolution have traditionally been viewed as responses to conditions associated with increasing aridity and the development of extensive grassland-savanna biomes in Africa during the Plio-...
Published: 2006
Summary Poverty and environmental degradation seem to be endemic in many of the former homeland territories of South Africa. The political legacy of Apartheid might have ceased, but the economic and environmental consequences thereof still have to...
Published: 2006
We investigated palaeoclimatic change in the Turkana Basin during the Pliocene climatic shift toward increased aridity in Africa. We analyzed the palaeoecology of this area using mammal faunas as environmental indicators. Twenty Plio-Pleistocene...
Published: 2008
The Olduvai fossil plants documented by us in this paper are the first direct evidence for open grassland in the late Neogene of Africa based on macroplant remains. Silicified remains of herbaceous ground cover are exceptionally well preserved in...
Published: 2006
The multiple benefits from livestock production to rural households are evaluated in Thorndale, a communal area of the Limpopo Province South Africa. Monetary values of livestock products are presented. Values from most previous studies are static (...
Published: 2007
The emergence of C4 grass biomes is believed to have first taken place in the upper Miocene, when a series of events modified global climate with long-lasting impacts on continental biotas. Changes included major shifts in floral composition--...
Published: 2006
Lake Urema is one of the most important ecological features of Gorongosa National Park, located in central Mozambique, in the East African Rift System. Understanding hydrology and ecology of the lake and its tributaries is particularly important for...
Published: 2008
Semi-arid climatic conditions were responsible for the evolution of the vast savanna that stretches across central Africa and for the evolution of placers in this area that carry gemstones, rare earth element minerals and zircon- and titanium-...
Published: 2008
We are attempting to set up a new protocol for palaeoecological reconstruction in relation to the fossil hominin site Laetoli, Tanzania. This is based on the premise that habitat variability in the past was at least as great as at present; that this...
Published: 2008
Coexistence of trees and grasses in savannas should be possible if competition between the woody and the grassy components is less intense than the competition within each component. Although several studies have investigated competition between...
Published: 2006
We report five Oligocene-early Miocene pollen assemblages from the Loperot-1 exploration well drilled in the semi-desert Lokichar Basin (latitude 02 ° 21' 46.15'' N, longitude 35 ° 52' 23.47'' E, ground elevation 615 m...
Published: 2008
Summary Robust calibration of hydrological models, driven by gridded precipitation data derived from either Regional Climate Models or statistical downscaling of General Circulation Models, is essential to the quantitative analysis of the impacts of...
Published: 2008
Aims of the study Several species of the stapeliads, a group of stem succulents belonging to the family Apocynaceae are reported on in the ethnopharmacology literature and many of the references relate to their use as food plants. The most important...
Published: 2007
Evidence suggests that C4 grasses, adapted to conditions of low CO2, high temperatures, and water-stressed environments, expanded relatively quickly, and in several geographically distinct regions, during the Late Miocene (approximately 9-7 Ma)....
Published: 2007
Summary In this paper, we present a method to estimate the additional costs made by nature reserve managers to mitigate the effects of atmospheric deposition. Theoretically, these extra costs may be saved when deposition levels drop. The costs were...
Published: 2007
Paleosol carbonates from trenches excavated as part of a landscape-scale project in Bed I of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, were analyzed for stable carbon and oxygen isotopic composition. The ~60,000-year interval (~1.845-1.785 Ma) above Tuff IB records...
Published: 2006
The Millennium Development Goals' target to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger is extremely important in southern Africa, where food security has become increasingly problematic over the last 20 years. One "quick-win...
Published: 2006
Marine pollution is a major threat to human and environmental health. Given the complexity of function of marine and coastal ecosystems, it is unlikely that a balanced view of the nature and extent of risk will easily be achieved if human and...
Published: 2007
Reconstructing Plio-Pleistocene African paleoenvironments is important for models of early hominin evolution, but is often hampered by low-resolution or discontinuous climatic data. Here, we present high-resolution stable oxygen and carbon isotope...
Published: 2007
The tree-grass interactions of African savannas are mainly determined by varying rainfall patterns and soil fertility. Large savanna trees are known to modify soil nutrient conditions, but whether this has an impact on the quality of herbaceous...
Published: 2006
The paper provides new and comparative insight into the ecological history of the two largest continental tropical forest areas during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The tropical forest regions are of particular interest because they present a...
Published: 2007
Summary Vegetation indices generated from remotely sensed data have been widely used to estimate biophysical characteristics of natural vegetation and agricultural crops like aboveground productivity, leaf area index or absorption of the...
Published: 2008
Ethnopharmacological relevance In South Africa, tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the most commonly notified disease and the fifth largest cause of mortality, with one in ten cases of TB resistant to treatment in some areas....
Published: 2007
The lack of anoxic environments in arid lands makes well-preserved fossil pollen difficult to find. The scarcity of continental palaeobotanical data in tropical arid zones restricts the understanding of aridification processes in these endangered...
Published: 2007
Summary Protected areas such as nature reserves have been found to be effective in preventing habitat destruction and protecting ecosystems within their borders. Recent studies however found extensive loss of tropical forest habitat around protected...
Published: 2007
Global climate change, linked to astronomical forcing factors, has been implicated in faunal evolutionary change in equatorial Africa, including the origin and diversification of hominin lineages. Empirical terrestrial data demonstrating that...
Published: 2006
Governance structures in Botswana are highly centralized and top-down in orientation. For water and related resources management in rural areas, this creates particular difficulties - from lack of decision-making capacity to limited human and...
Published: 2008
The paper brings to the fore a plethora of proven successes in agriculture and land management in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past 4 decades. Cases can be grouped into those based on agricultural commodities, and those based on areas and people....
Published: 2007
Vegetation and plant foods for hominins of lowermost Bed II, Olduvai Gorge were modeled by examining vegetation in modern habitats in northern Tanzania (Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti) that are analogous to the paleolandscape in terms of...
Published: 2006
The coexistence of woody and grassy plants in savannas has often been attributed to a rooting-niche separation (two-layer hypothesis). Water was assumed to be the limiting resource for both growth forms and grasses were assumed to extract water from...
Published: 2006
South Africa' s winter-rainfall zone is a climatically sensitive region, lying at the interface of the earth's temperate and sub-tropical climatic systems. Its seasonally arid climate has generally prevented the preservation of long and...
Published: 2006
Summary The Okavango basin comprises the Cuito and Cubango active catchment areas in Angola, in addition to the Kavango-Okavango non-active catchment in northern Namibia and Botswana. The Okavango River water and its ecosystem resources are...
Published: 2007
This paper reports new multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental data on the late Glacial-Holocene transition (c. 14.8-9.3 ka) in equatorial East Africa, in the form of microfossil assemblages (chironomids, diatoms and ostracods) recovered from the sediment...