Annual biomass cycles, accumulation rates and nutritional characteristics of forage and non-forage species groups were determined in the canopied and open, uncanopied subhabitats of the herbaceous layer in Burkea africana savanna. The total amount of biomass of all species over the season was significantly greater in the open than under Burkea africana trees and Ochna pulchra shrubs. However, the amount of biomass and in-vitro diigestible organic matter of forage species was of the same order of magnitude under Burkea africana and in the open, and the amount of crude protein was in fact greater under Burkea africana trees than in the open and under Ochna pulchra in the case of forage species. The amount of biomass, crude protein and in-vitro digestible organic matter of non-forage species was greatest in the open. Biomass accumulation rate of total biomass was greatest in the open, whilst that of forage species was greatest under Burkea africana.
Keywords: burkea africana; burkea savanna; crude protein; forage; grasses; herbaceous layer; nylsvley nature reserve; ochna pulchra; organic matter; plants; savanna; shrubs; south africa; subhabitats; trees