Woody vegetation resource changes around selected settlement along aridity gradient in the Kalahari, Botswana
PublisherElsevier Science Ltd, http://www.elsevier.com/locate/cag
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This paper investigated changes in economically important woody vegetation resources around seven settlements located along an aridity gradient in the Kalahari. Available data at different rainfall levels were analysed for different vegetation aspects. Total woody plant density and number of species at each site increased with increasing rainfall level, while individual species density differed at each site irrespective of rainfall, due to other factors, for example, land use as indicated by high stump densities around old and high population settlements. Drought resulted in high mortality of certain species, increasing availability of fuelwood resource in the form of dead wood. However, prolonged drought from climatic changes could result in browse shortage, a vital resource in the Kalahari. There was generally low wood resource availability throughout the studied gradient, without any distinct relation to rainfall, reflecting the influence of other factors such as soils, land use and natural variability.
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