Department of Biology
Institute of Plant Science and Microbiology
    Division BEE  >  Biodiversity & Ecology  >  Vol.4 >  Article 46

Biodiversity & Ecology

Short Database Report    Open Access 

National Vegetation Database of South Africa

Leslie Ward Powrie*, Michael Charles Rutherford, Ladislav Mucina & Kagiso Mangwale

Article first published online: 24 September 2012

DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00096

*Corresponding author contact: l.powrie@sanbi.org.za

Biodiversity & Ecology  (Biodivers. Ecol.)

Special Volume: Vegetation databases for the 21st century,
edited by Jürgen Dengler, Jens Oldeland, Florian Jansen, Milan Chytrý, Jörg Ewald, Manfred Finckh, Falko Glöckler, Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez, Robert K. Peet & Joop H.J. Schaminée
Volume 4, pages 299–299, Sep 12
  PDF  (206 kB)

Keywords: climate change; conservation assessment; conservation management; conservation target; cover-abundance gradient; environmental planning; phytosociology; spatial species diversity; species co-occurrence; vegetation classification.


Abstract: Southern Africa has been recognized as one of the most interesting and important areas of the world from an ecological and evolutionary point of view. The establishment and development of the National Vegetation Database (NVD) of South Africa (GIVD ID AF-ZA-001) has contributed to environmental planning and conservation management in this floristically unique region. The NVD was developed using TURBOVEG and has been moved to MS Access. It currently contains 279 datasets, 47,466 vegetation plots (relevés) sharing 11,759 plant taxa and containing 1,064,100 species occurrence records. More than 80% of the studies use the Braun-Blanquet method. The NVD was primarily founded to serve vegetation classification and mapping goals but has also been an important tool in conservation assessment, target setting, production of the National Vegetation Map, National Forest Type Classification, South African National Biodiversity Assessment, Forest Type Conservation Assessment. However, the use of the current NVD in multidisciplinary research has certainly not been fully explored. Well-trained vegetation surveyors are needed so that the NVD will continue to be purpose driven and serve the needs of biological survey in pursuit of sustainable use of the vegetation and flora resources of the southern African subcontinent.

Suggested citation:
Powrie, L.W., Rutherford, M.C., Mucina, L., Mangwale, K. (2012): National Vegetation Database of South Africa. – In: Dengler, J., Oldeland, J., Jansen, F., Chytrý, M., Ewald, J., Finckh, M., Glöckler, F., Lopez-Gonzalez, G., Peet, R.K., Schaminée, J.H.J. [Eds.]: Vegetation databases for the 21st century. – Biodiversity & Ecology 4: 299–299. DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00096.