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FYNBOS

FYNBOS

The Fynbos is one the most unique plant communities, not only in Africa, but in the entire world. Distributed on a thin belt of land (100-200km wide) along the Western and Eastern Capes of South Africa, this ecoregion’s biodiversity is exceptional. From a biogeographical perspective, the Fynbos divides into two ecoregion types; lowland fynbos (below 300 m above sea level) and the montane fynbos of the Cape Fold Belt. From a phytogeographic perspective, the Fynbos falls within the Cape Floral Kingdom (Capensis), the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms, but the richest per unit of area (9000 plant species – 69% which are endemic [i]). In 2017, I had the opportunity to document some of this regions biodiversity and endemism which you can see in the photographs below.

 

The Fynbos is one the most unique plant communities, not only in Africa, but in the entire world. Distributed on a thin belt of land (100-200km wide) along the Western and Eastern Capes of South Africa, this ecoregion’s biodiversity is exceptional. From a biogeographical perspective, the Fynbos divides into two ecoregion types; lowland fynbos (below 300 m above sea level) and the montane fynbos of the Cape Fold Belt. From a phytogeographic perspective, the Fynbos falls within the Cape Floral Kingdom (Capensis), the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms, but the richest per unit of area (9000 plant species – 69% which are endemic [i]). In 2017, David had the opportunity to document some of this regions biodiversity and endemism which you can see in the photographs below.

 

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Montane Fynbos

Table Mountain is an extraordinary centre of biodiversity. The National Reserve alone is home to over 2200 species of plant [i]. 

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The Fynbos and Renostervold ecoregions hold around 7000 of the Capenisis’ 9000 species [ii]. This makes the region one of the most diverse in the world, only beaten by tropical rainforests [iv].


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Lowland Fynbos

These photos explore a number of locations on the boarder of the western and eastern cape. At this junction between different ecoregions, Renosterveld and Albany thickets overlap with the Lowland Fynbos [iii]. The plant families Proteaceae and Restionaceae are prolific [iv].

These photos explore a number of locations on the boarder of the western and eastern cape. At this junction between different ecoregions, Renosterveld and Albany thickets overlap with the Lowland Fynbos [iii]. The plant families Proteaceae and Restionaceae are prolific [iv].

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[i] Goldblatt, P., and P. Manning. 2000. Plants of the Cape flora. Strelitzia 9: 1-744.

[ii] Bond, W.J., and B.W. van Wilgen. 1996. Fire and plants. Chapman and Hall, London.

[iii] Cowling, R.M., P.W. Rundel, B.B. Lamont, M.K. Arroyo, and M. Arianoutsou. 1996. Plant diversity in Mediterranean-climate regions. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 11, 362-66.

[iv] Cowling, R.M., P.M. Holmes, and A.G. Rebelo.1992. Plant diversity and endemism. Pages 62-112 in R.M. Cowling, editor. The Ecology of Fynbos. Nutrients, Fire and Diversity. Oxford University Press, Cape Town.

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david_bodenham@hotmail.co.uk

david_bodenham@hotmail.co.uk

                                          ©David Bodenham 


                                      ©David Bodenham 


                         © David Bodenham 


© David Bodenham                                  


                                                                    ©David Bodenham 


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