Benefits of Biodiversity to people: Subtropical Rainforest, Durban Karkloof forest.

Presented by : Phetla, Mabindisa, Mabaso and Kopane

Provisioning services: Mabaso

The ecosystem provides the conditions for growth of food such as olives and multiple types of nuts. The food comes principally from managed agro ecosystems but marine and fresh and freshwater systems of forests also provide for humans to eat. A great amount of olive trees grow in this ecosystem and plant oils are directly derived from wild and cultivated plant species. The forest plays a vital role in the hydrological as it regulates the flow and purification of water.

Regulating services: Phetla

Temperatures in the subtropical rain forest may vary slightly between 16oC and 29oC over a year, rainfall may be distributed unevenly so that wet and dry seasons occur. The forest only has a thin layer of decaying organic matter.

Durban has a hot Mediterranean/ dry summer subtropical climate that is mild with moderate seasonality. In winter the Karkloof forest experiences lots of rain because of the polar front. The total annual precipitation averages 828mm which is equivalent to 828litres/m2.

Cultural services: Mabindisa

The Karkloof forest provides enough oxygen and the trees fight of the floods with the tree roots that that help slow the flow and lessen the risk of property damage and soil erosion. The san were the owners of the land for almost 300 000 years but local demography started to change soon after 2000 years ago when the first bantu speaking farmers arrived in South Africa.

The growing recognition of local indigenous knowledge such as the rice-fish co-culture, a farming technique used for over 1200 years in south China, was used in the forest. Rain water harvesting and animal management is taking place in the forest.

A wonderful view of the Karkloof forest taken from a zip line. Courtesy of Mrs De Vos

Support services: Kopane

Soil formation is another important and relating support service. Most rain forests are ‘wet deserts,’ located with acidic clay like soils that are low in nutrients and that normally cannot sustain much life. Trees and plants maintain soil quality by providing organic material, such as leaves and branches. Their rock anchor and soil prevent it, as well as the nutrients within it, from being washed away by heavy rainfall.



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