Arid Zone Ecology Forum

A Non-Profit Organisation focused on research in the arid zone of southern Africa

AZEF 2012 Presentations

**Please contact the AZEF sectretariat for a copy of the presentation or poster** 


  • Joe McAuliffe: Landscape Fossils in Arid Zones:  Interpreting the Ecological Past and Predicting the Future
  • Nico Smit: Is there a long-term solution to the bush thickening problem in southern Africa - a practical assessment

SESSION 1 -  Plant Community Ecology 

  • Colleen Seymour,  Milton, S.J., Altwegg, R., Joseph, G.S. and Dean, W.R.J: Speeding things up in a slow system: the influence of nitrogen and potassium addition to semi arid rangeland
  • Ute Schmiedel, Röwer, I. Dengler, J. and Luther-Mosebach, J: Small-scale vegetation and biodiversity patterns of termitaria under different grazing pressures in the communal area of Soebatsfontein, South Africa
  • Simon Todd: The determinants of vegetation type and plant community distribution in the Karoo and its implications for all kinds of things
  • Yolandi Els, Ramaswiela, T. and Bezuidenhout, H: Long term monitoring of plant species communities in the Kalahari-Thornveld

SESSION 2 - Degradation & Rehabilitation

  • Lehman Lindeque: Perceptions on land degradation and conservation in the Karoo
  • Bonnie Schumann and Christy Bragg: The approaches to, and challenges of drylands restoration
  • Ancois de Villiers, Esler, K. J. and Knight, A: nHolistic Management: considering "wholes within wholes" in rangelands
  • Carly Cowell: Role of SANParks Habitat Degradation and Rehabilitation Monitoring Programme in Namaqua and Tankwa Karoo National Parks

SESSION 3 - Bush Encroachment

  • David Ward: Magersfontein O Magersfontein: The influence of local and global drivers on a century of woody plant encroachment in the dry Kimberley savanna
  • Justin CO du Toit: Herbicides, CO2, and Bush Encroachment – are we killing our arid rangelands?
  • Nico Smit: Re-establishment of Colophospermum mopane on plots thinned to different tree densities in Mopane Bushveld
  • David F Joubert,  Honsbein, D., Smit, G.N. and Hoffman, M.T: Bush encroachment: perceived impacts on livestock production in semi arid Namibian rangelands. How real are they?                                        

SESSION 4 - Botanical Studies

  • Timm Hoffman: The phenology of Succulent Karoo plants: Patterns and differences between growth forms
  • Donovan C Kotze: Wetlands in the drylands of the Breede Valley: exploring burning and grazing options
  • Sam L. Jack, Hoffman, M.T. Rohde, R.F.  and Durbach, I: Blow me down! A new perspective on Aloe dichotoma mortality as a result of windthrow

SESSION 5 - Climate Change

  • Guy Midgley:NClimate resilience and vulnerability in the Karoo
  • Francois Engelbrecht: Detailed projections of future climate change over southern Africa
  • Bettina Koelle: Climate change adaptation: Social challenges and opportunities
  • Ilse Trautmann: Climate change – a threat or opportunity for agriculture?                                    

SESSION 6 – Fracking

  • Roger Parsons: Fact or fabrication - impact of hydraulic fracturing on groundwater resources of the karoo
  • Christy Bragg, Els, Y. and Milton, S. J: Mining impacts and risks for the Karoo environment: synthesis and a report back on the Karoo Development Conference

SESSION 7 - Landuse Change Modeling

  • Tony (AR) Palmer,  Finca, A., Weideman, C. and Smit, I: Has the high elephant population in Addo benefitted the citrus farmers? Modeling evapotranspiration in the Addo Elephant National Park using FAO56 and MODIS LAI
  • Claire Davis, Hoffman, M. T.  and Robert, W: Recent trends in vegetation change in the Namaqualand region of South Africa: an approach combining repeat site photography and remote sensing

SESSION 8 - Climate Change & Landuse Interface

  • Christy Bragg and Muthui, V: Ecosystem based adaptation in the karoo is it real? Rabbits, rivers and rangelands in the sun
  • Daleen Lotter and le Maitre, D: Modeling  the distribution of Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos tea): Implications of climate change for livelihoods dependent on both cultivation and harvesting from the wild
  • Sean Archer: “What determines grazing strategy choices by land managers in the Karoo? A research proposal."

SESSION 9 - Zoological Studies 

  • G.Derek Engelbrecht and Moshokgotho, B: Nest-site characteristics and breeding success of the Chestnut-backed Sparrow-lark Eremopterix leucotis in different micro-habitats in an agricultural landscape in the Limpopo Province, South Africa
  • Paul Vorster: The feeding and spatial ecology of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and lions (Panthera leo) in the Little Karoo, South Africa
  • Niels Blaum, Schwager, M., Wichmann, M and Rossmanith, E: Climate induced changes in shrub matrix suitability explain gene flow of gerbils in a fragmented savanna landscape
  • Elton R. le Roux and Cunningham, M. J: The Herpetofauna on Augrabies Falls National Park & surrounds       

SESSION 8 - Botanical Studies & Alien Plants

  • Sebinasi Dzikiti, Schachtschneider, K., Naiken, V., Gush, M. and Moses, G: Water relations and the impact of alien invasive prosopis on groundwater in the Northern Cape
  • Priscilla Burgoyne: Notes on some Data Deficient taxa in Ruschia section Tumidula
  • Desale Yosief Okubamichael: Do stomata of mistletoe close and respond to abscisic acid?
  • Thabisini Ndhlovu,  Milton, S.J. and Esler, K.J: Impact of Prosopis (mesquite) invasion and clearing on vegetation composition, diversity and structure in semi-arid Nama Karoo rangeland, South Africa

SESSION 10 - Conservation Biology

  • Ismail Ebrahim,  and Zikishe, V: The CREW programme – Taking threatened plant conservation to new heights
  • Augustine Morkel: The WWF Nedbank Green Trust Opportunity: Connecting People and Nature
  • Sarah-Leigh Hutchinson: Saving our species: by blitz and spots!

SESSION 11 - Conservation Biology – Namaqualand

  • Shahieda Davids and Ntsholo, L: Institutionalizing a learning network and the value of civil society learning exchanges in the Succulent Karoo
  • Melvin Swarts: Rangeland Resources and Governance: Assessing local level governance of ephemeral wetlands as key resources for commonage users in the Namaqualand Uplands
  • Heidi Hawkins: A year of eco-rangers: Does the eco-ranger model have the potential to reduce livestock losses while improving farm management and skills in arid rangelands?
  • Ben-Jon Dreyer : Biodiversity & Social Projects in Arid cluster SANParks