Vegetation assessment is a requirement for the identification and understanding of
components of complex ecosystems that characterise wildlife areas. It is important that
assessment methods are reliable yet practical for use in wildlife management.
There are many assessment methods in use. This study sets out to compare two methods
that fulfil these requirements and to examine synergy to optimise assessment.
The study area is Evelyn Game Ranch situated on the farms Kranenberg 162 MS and
Evelyn 159 MS in the Messina magisterial district, Limpopo province, South Africa. It covers
1 293 ha. The owner of Evelyn Game Ranch suggests that overgrazing by livestock in years
gone by caused degradation of the veld. The intention is to remedy degradation of the
different vegetation communities that comprise the veld. Difficulty exists in delineating the different vegetation communities into manageable entities
and relating those with shared floristic attributes to one another. The aim of this study is to
show that a map derived from digital Google Earth imagery and classification described by
PHYTOSET procedures is less complicated, more objective and less time consuming to
develop than the widely used method of physiognomic mapping and vegetation analysis
using Braun-Blanquet procedures.
Both approaches yielded outcomes usable for modelling for ranch management. However
neither was sufficiently superior to allow disregard for the other. I suggest that synergy of the
two approaches is a solution, with complementary elements of each applied to a project.
Better options are likely to emerge and may develop in a way that would obviate the need for
synergies and would suffice on their own. Two methods are suggested. As is the case with
PHYTOSET procedures, iterative data and objective classifications characterise these