International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 609

Article in Press

The effects of biotic factors on the population ecology of Euphorbia clivicola, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Seloba Chuene and Martin Potgieter

  •  Received: 01 February 2019
  •  Accepted: 13 May 2019
The need to conduct a detailed ecological study on Euphorbia clivicola was sparked by the drastic decline in populations’ sizes of two populations (Percy Fyfe Nature Reserve and Radar Hill) coupled with the discovery of one new population in Ga-Dikgale village in Limpopo Province of South Africa. This latter population lacked scientific data necessary to effectively manage it. This study aimed to conduct a detailed investigation, focusing on the biotic factors impacting the three populations and ultimately gain information that will enable conservationists to develop an informed management plan for them. The biotic factors investigated include grass cover and herbivory. Elevated grass cover of > 60% was directly proportional to herbivory damages. These negative effects were triggered by the removal of grazers from the E. clivicola camp at Percy Fyfe Nature Reserve and the inability of the reserve management to adhere to the proposed fire regime which would have resulted in the decreased grass cover around E. clivicola, and the fragmentation of the Radar Hill population that inhibits fire spread. An E. clivicola management plan that includes a fire regime of every three years between August and September is proposed for the type population of E. clivicola at Percy Fyfe Nature Reserve and the Radar Hill population, while the high grazing intensity at the Dikgale population should be maintained.

Keywords: Euphorbia clivicola; Grass cover; Herbivory; Domino effect