African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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Fire as a method of controlling macchia (Fynos) vegetation on the Amathole Mountains of the Eastern Cape

Trollope WSW


Earlier research on eradicating macchia (fynbos) vegetation on the Amatole Mountains showed that both the lowland and highland macchia communities were re-established from coppice growth and seedlings. Follow-up burning treatments were, therefore, applied following eradication. In the lowland macchia, burning two years after destroying a dense stand of Cliffortia linearifolia, followed by another burn one year later, virtually eliminated the species and caused a complete recovery in the grass sward. In the highland macchia, burning two, three, or four years after the original treatments was equally effective in reducing the regrowth of Erica brownleeae and Cliffortia paucistaminea to negligible proportions. However, the hotter the burn, the more adversely affected was the grass sward. This effect became more pronounced as the interval increased between the original eradication treatment and the follow-up burn.

Keywords: macchia|plant communities|plants|growth|basal covers|seedlings|burning regimes|highlands|grass cover|Eastern Cape Province|Amathole Mountains|fynbos|eradications|vegetation|controlled burnings|fires|bush encroachments|lowlands

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