Original Articles

Veld of the karoo areas

DOI: 10.1080/00725560.1983.9648975
Author(s): M. VorsterDepartment of Agriculture (Karoo Region),, P.W. RouxDepartment of Agriculture (Karoo Region),


The Karoo areas are generally arid to semi‐arid with rainfall varying from less than 100 mm in the west to 400 mm in the east. The topography is mainly flat to undulating and the soils generally shallow and stony. There are 16 veld types present. Typcial Karoo veld is characterised by a dominant sparse to dense short shrubby vegetation (karoo bushes), interspersed to a variable degree, by short grass species and taller shrubs. Succulents are dominant in certain parts. These constituents exhibit different phenological rhythms of which the karoo bushes are largely vernal and autumnal and the grass aestival. Fodder and nutrition supply varies according to season and rainfall. A large numer of insect pests afflict Karoo vegetation. Stock diseases and physiological disturbances caused by certain species, are prevalent. Merino and Dorper sheep are the main defoliating agents of Karoo veld.

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