This study investigated whether the current lateral boundary for estuaries in South Africa, i.e. the estuarine functional zone (EFZ), includes all estuarine habitats. The EFZ covers 173 930 ha in 304 estuaries/outlets nationally. Field surveys and analysis of available aerial images showed that 82 (12 956.70 ha) of these estuaries (26%) had estuarine habitats occurring outside of this boundary. As a result of mapping scale, the National Vegetation Map does not represent habitats that are associated with small estuaries (approximately 50% of South Africa's estuaries).
This article assesses the current technical and economic potential of three bioenergy production systems (cassava ethanol, jatropha oil and fuelwood) in semi-arid and arid regions of eight sub-Saharan African countries. The results indicate that the availability of land for energy production ranges from 2% (1.3 Mha) of the total semi-arid and arid area in South Africa to 21% (12 Mha) in Botswana. Land availability for bioenergy production is restricted mainly by agricultural land use, but also by steep slopes and biodiversity protection.
Land is the basic resource that is needed by man in order to survive: It provides humans with living space, nutrition and energy resources. The rapid growth of the human population, climate change and pollution on a catastrophic scale has caused the quality of land resources to be compromised. Remote sensing is a useful tool in land cover change detection providing information to decision makers.
Deep, linear gullies are a common feature of the present landscape of the Karoo of South Africa, where they were known locally in the early twentieth century as ‘sluits’. Recent research has shown that many of these features are now stable and are no longer significant sediment sources, although they are efficient connectors in the landscape. Because most of the gully networks predate the first aerial photographs, little is known in the scientific literature about the timing of their formation.
The study established the factors that influence the use of cattle and chicken manure for managing soil fertility by surveying a random sample of 224 farm households in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. The majority (87%) of the respondents are farming on communal land with an average farm size of 2.9 ha. Sixty-three% of the farmers in the sample used manure to manage soil fertility in their fields. Despite the fact that chicken manure was available in large quanties in the area, 54% of manure used was from cattle while chicken manure was used by 39% of the sample.
Acacia mearnsii De Wild (black wattle) is an important plantation species for tannin production and woodchip exports in South Africa and Brazil. This study provides an updated overview of the black wattle industries in both countries, including planted areas and land ownership, silviculture and management, bark extract production, woodchip exports, as well as key research and development issues. The current total planted area to black wattle is 110 000 ha in South Africa and c. 170 000 ha in Brazil. In both countries black wattle is mainly cultivated by farmers (c.
We describe an initiative to improve the flow of information between researchers and managers as part of two international scientific symposia on biological invasions held in South Africa in 2008 and 2009. Formal workshops and information sessions for land managers were run during the symposia. At the end of each symposium, the managers ran dedicated question-and-answer sessions on the research they felt was needed to improve their work. We discuss the potential of such interventions to increase interaction and awareness between researchers and managers of biological invasions.
In semi-arid African regions (annual rainfall between 200 and 600 mm), variability of vegetative activity is mainly due to the rainfall of the current rainy season. In most of South Africa, the rainy season occurs from October to March. On average, vegetative activity lags rainfall by 1 to 2 months. The interannual variability in early summer (December to September) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) depends primarily on precipitation at the beginning (October to November) of the rainy season.
Gully erosion is a worldwide matter of concern because of the irreversible losses of fertile land, which often have severe environmental, economic and social consequences. While most of the studies on the gullying process have investigated the involved mechanisms (either overland flow incision, seepage or piping erosion), only few have been conducted on the controlling factors of gully wall retreat, an important, if not the dominant, land degradation process and sediment source in river systems.