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.
Plant health and global change - some implications for landscape management
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 ecosystem stress due to natural resources shortage or imbalance. Indirect effects include (i) an increased frequency of natural detrimental phenomena, (ii) an increased pressure due to already present pests and diseases, (iii) the introduction of new invasive species either as a result of an improved suitability of the climatic conditions or as a result of increased trade, and (iv) the human response to global change. In this review, we provide an overview of recent studies on terrestrial plant health in the presence of global change factors. We summarize the links between climate change and some key issues in plant health, including tree mortality, changes in wildfire regimes, biological invasions and the role of genetic diversity for ecosystem resilience. Prediction and management of global change effects are complicated by interactions between globalization, climate and invasive plants and/or pathogens. We summarize practical guidelines for landscape management and draw general conclusions from an expanding body of literature.
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