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This impressive work is the first comprehensive account of the vegetation of southern Africa. The region contains a remarkable juxtaposition of different ecosystems, yet it forms a cohesive ecological unit with exceptionally high endemism. Vegetation of Southern Africa is divided into three major parts: Part I provides the physiographic, climatic, biogeographic and historical background essential for understanding contemporary vegetation patterns and processes. Part II includes systematic descriptions of the characteristics and determinants of major vegetation units (the major terrestrial biomes, coastal vegetation, freshwater wetlands and marine vegetation). Part III elaborates on selected ecological themes of particular importance including grazing, fire, alien plant invasions, conservation and human use of plants. These are discussed in the context of prevailing paradigms in the international literature.
Foreword B. J. Huntley
Part. Physiography and History: Introduction
1. Evolution of landscapes T. C. Partridge
2. Climate R. E. Schulze
3. Phytogeography, flora and endemism R. M. Cowling, and C. Hilton-Taylor
4. Vegetation history L. Scott, H. M. Anderson, and J. M. Anderson
Part II. Biomes: Introduction
5. Categorization of biomes M. C. Rutherford
6. Fynbos R. M. Cowling, D. M. Richardson, and P. J. Mustart
7. Succulent karoo S. J. Milton, R. I. Yeaton, W. R. J. Dean, and J. H. J. Vlok
8. Nama-karoo A. R. Palmer, and M. T. Hoffman
9. Desert N. Jurgens, A. Gunster, M. K. Seely, and K. M. Jacobson
10. Grassland T. G. O'Connor, and G. J. Bredenkamp
11. Savanna R. J. Scholes
12. Forest J. J. Midgley, R. M. Cowling, A. H. W. Seydack, and G. F. Van Wyk
13. Coastal vegetation R. A. Lubke, A. M. Avis, T. D. Steinke, and C. Boucher
14. Freshwater wetlands K. H. Rogers
15. Marine vegetation J. J. Bolton and R. J. Anderson
Part III. Ecological Themes: Introduction
16. Plant form and function W. D. Stock, N. Allsopp, F. van der Heyden, and E. T. F. Witkowski
17. Herbivory N. Owen-Smith, and J. E. Danckwerts
18. Fire W. J. Bond
19. Species diversity at the regional scale R. M. Cowling, D. M. Richardson, R. E. Schulze, M. T. Hoffman, J. J. Midgley, and C. Hilton-Taylor
20. Human use of plants A. B. Cunningham, and G. W. Davis
21. Human impacts on vegetation M. T. Hoffman
22. Alien plant invasions D. M. Richardson, I. A. W. Macdonald, J. H. Hoffmann, and L. Henderson
23. Conservation A. G. Rebelo
"Vegetation of Southern Africa is most certainly a classic volume that will serve as a core reference for decades to come. I cannot imagine anyone with interests in any aspect of the vegetation or conservation biology of Africa, or in comparative vegetation science, who will not find this useful as a personal reference [...] The editors and publisher deserve congratulations for the production of a scholarly volume of this quality."
- Philip W. Rundel, Journal of Biogeography
"By involving experts to write on particular aspects of the vegetation in southern Africa and related topics, under the guidance of excellent editorship, it has been possible to compile the most comprehensive compendium of information on southern Africas's vegetation to date [...] Vegetation of Southern Africa is well timed as it provides a good critique of the state of affairs and will serve as a valuable benchmark publication for future work."
- D. J. McDonald, Bothalia
"The editors are to be congratulated on the breadth and scope of knowledge that has been assembled here."
- Annals of Botany
"[...] believe this detailed account will remain a treasured resource for a long time to come."
- Journal of Vegetation Sciences
"[...] the book thus serves as an excellent introduction to the geographical and ecological studies performed in southern Africa. [...] the book is richly illustrated by drawings, diagrams and black-and-white photos. [...] Everyone will find some particular details that to date have not been treated in average textbooks of geography. For example, the book provides a remarkable explanation of the contrasting influence of the warm Mozambique Current to the east, and cold ocean waters upwelling along the western sea shore. Botanists will be pleased by the well-documented pattern of five phytogeographical regions, which reflect the much discussed correspondence between life forms, climate and soils."
- Jan Jeník, Department of Botany, Charles University, Czech Republic
"Experts and teachers interested in the overall pattern and problems of the biosphere will welcome the first section. [...] Everyone will find some particular details that to date have not been treated in average textbooks of geography. [...] Botanics will be pleased by the well-documented pattern of five phytogeographical regions [...]"
- Folia geobotanica