Biomes of South Africa : Fynbos

cape-fynbos-flourishes-on-grootbos (1)

Introduction

On this brief we shall the properties of the Fynbos region. The factors for each property are as follows.

Climate

  • Cool, wet winters (winter rainfall area) and hot, dry summers
  • The Fynbos region on average receives 1000mm of rain annually.
  • Due to maritime climate there is only a 10% difference between summer and winter temperatures.
  • Wind is an unavailable factor in the Fynbos region with average wind speeds reaching up to 30km per hour.

Type of soil

  • Most of the soil in the Fynbos region is sandy, acidic and not vey fertile due to the leaching of nutrients.
  • However the Renosterveld part of the region consists of high fertility soil and can support more animals

Vegetation

  • It consists of evergreen shrubs with hard leaves.
  • Few trees and grasses occur and grow.
  • Includes 8 600 flowering plant species
  • It is one of the richest floral regions in the world
  • Fire is an important factor in the germination of seeds
  • Approximately 68% of the plant species are endemic

Animal life

  • A wide variety of animals occur, including the grysbok, steenbok , bontebok, geometric tortoise, porcupine, leopard and Cape Baboon
  • There is a variety of bird species , especially nectar and seed-eating birds
image

Image courtesy of Maurits Steenekamp

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Photos courtesy of Maurits Steenekamp.

Threats to Fynbos

  • The Fynbos vegetation is at threat as 1 700 of its plant species are bound to be extinct
  • The city of Cape Town sits squarely on two such centres of endemism and several hundred species are threatened
  • The spread of alien plants such as hakea, The Australian wattles Acacia Cyclops commonly known as Rooikrans and Acacia saligna commonly known as Port Jackson , and pine trees from Europe
  • Frequent fires and fires in the wrong season
  • Commercial afforestation
  • Development of housing estates and farms

Presented by:  Phenyo SCHILLO Gaborone, Luyanda Jonas, Fayaadh Cassim, Muaz Bismilla (Grade 10)

 

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