Griqualand West, a region in the semi-arid Northern Cape and North-West provinces of South Africa, has been variously suggested to contain a number of range-restricted plant species, and was proposed to be a local centre of plant endemism. The Griqualand West Centre (GWC), hitherto demarcated by geological features and limited floristic data, is hereby investigated to determine the true levels of endemism and its extent of occurrence. Findings suggest that at least 23 plant species have their natural distribution ranges restricted to the Griqualand West region. These endemics represent 1.4% of the region's flora. Although this is a lower than the predicted level of endemism, it matches the trends of endemicity found in other centres in semi-arid savanna of southern Africa. Many of the GWC endemics show indications of holo-endemism owing to their apparent preference for the Ca- and Mg-rich substrates of the Ghaap Plateau. When the total distributions of all GWC endemic species are considered, then the resulting boundary of the GWC is more extensive than the substantial area already proposed previously (> 40,000 km2). This study therefore proposes the concept of ‘core area’ in which distant outlier populations of endemic species (> 100 km outside the main distribution range with no suitable habitat in between) are discarded during the demarcation of the centre's boundary. It is proposed that this concept is best applied when assessing extensive areas with few endemic species. A more refined GWC core area will allow for more effective conservation and future research efforts by focussing attention on those areas where high numbers of endemic plant species co-occur. Within the GWC core area, specific regions, such as the increasingly densely populated Kimberley region, the banded ironstone hill ranges, and the unique environment that is the Ghaap Plateau, are highlighted as areas of conservation importance.
Clark, Vincent Ralph; Bentley, Joanne; Dold, Anthony P.; Zikishe, Vathiswa; Barker, Nigel(Pensoft Publishers, 2016-04-15)
South Africa’s 800 km-long southern Great Escarpment hosts numerous endemic plant species only
known from their type specimens or from very few records. This is a legacy of a 100–150 year lag between
the pioneer work of ...
Geleta, Assefa Regassa(University of Pretoria, 2006-03-23)
The main objective of the study was to investigate whether there were significant differences in prevalence of antibodies to Babesia bigemina and Babesia bovis between vaccinated and unvaccinated cattle in a tick-borne ...