Original Articles

The regrowth of Colophospermum mopane following clearing

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1990.9648223
Author(s): R.J. ScholesDepartment of Botany, Republicof South Africa


The recovery of cleared Colophospermum mopane thicket in the eastern Transvaal lowveld, to a level where its effect on grass production is similar to that in the pre‐cleared state, occurs within fourteen years. Based on certain assumptions, the ‘effective duration’ of the increase in grass production after clearing is about half of the recovery period. A model describing the recovery of basal area with time since clearing is presented. Simulations show that the recovery period is shortened by higher rainfall and lengthened by drought. It is hardly affected by the degree of clearing mortality typically achieved by the use of hormonal herbicides, but is extended to twenty‐two years if 90% mortality is achieved. Complete clearing mortality and a seedling establishment rate of four seedlings/ha/yearresults in recovery within forty years.

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