Influence of bushclumps on the herbaceous understorey in a mesic Eastern Cape savanna

  • M Mapuma Döhne Agricultural Development Institute, Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture, Private Bag X15, Stutterheim, 4930, South Africa
Keywords: biomass, botany, bushclumps, Eastern Cape, Eastern Province Thornveld, forage quality, herbage reduction, multi-species savanna, savanna, South Africa, understorey, bush control, development, grassland, herbaceous layer, herbaceous production, production,


Studies of the effects of woody vegetation on herbaceous vegetation in southern Africa have focussed almost exclusively on savannas with isolated trees with no attention given to multi-species bushclump savannas. The influence of multi-species bushclumps on herbaceous vegetation was investigated in a mesic savanna in the Eastern Cape. Development of bushclumps appeared to reduce herbaceous production underneath the clumps by up to 90%. The herbaceous layer underneath the bushclumps was distinctly different to that of the open grassland and it also had slightly higher quality compared to that of grassland. Effective bush control measures are warranted if these savanna areas are to sustain beef and mutton production as is currently the case.

Keywords: biomass; botany; bushclumps; Eastern Cape; Eastern Province Thornveld; forage quality; herbage reduction; multi-species savanna; savanna; South Africa; understorey; bush control; development; grassland; herbaceous layer; herbaceous production; production; southern africa

African Journal of Range & Forage Science, Vol. 15(1 & 2), pp. 11–15

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9380
print ISSN: 1022-0119