Original Articles

Determinants of herbaceous plant species composition on a number of ranches in the north‐western Transvaal

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1991.9648272
Author(s): M.J.S. PeelDepartment of Agricultural Development, Republic of South Africa, D. GrossmanDepartment of Agricultural Development, Republic of South Africa, N. van RooyenDepartment of Botany, Republic of South Africa


Herbaceous plant species composition was measured on ranches in the Thabazimbi district, Transvaal, to obtain veld composition scores and to quantify the relations between such scores and certain determinants considered important in influencing species composition. Determinants investigated were mean annual rainfall and herbivory (stocking rate). The survey was undertaken on seven game and cattle ranches in Combretum apiculatum woodland of the Mixed Bushveld (Acocks 18) of the north‐western Transvaal. Rainfall for the season preceding the vegetation survey and bulk and selective grazer stocking rates had a significant effect on veld composition scores. The recommended agricultural grazer stocking rate for the survey area is 12.5 LSU 100 ha"1 a"1. Under the present conditions and in view of the findings of this survey, it is suggested that a grazer stocking rate of 6.25 LSU 100 ha−1 a−1 be implemented.

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