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Title: Influence of Geomorphology on the Physiognomy of Colophospermum mopane and its Effect on Browsing in Central Namibia
Authors: TESHIROGI, Koki
Keywords: Colophospermum mopane
Tree shape
Land unit
Browsing activity
Feed resource
Issue Date: Mar-2010
Publisher: The Research Committee for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 40
Start page: 103
End page: 114
Abstract: Colophospermum mopane is a characteristic tree species indigenous to Southern Africa, where it forms 'mopane vegetation.' Mopane plays an important role in livestock farming, and the physiognomy of mopane influences the availability of feed. This study clarified the relationship between the difference in mopane physiognomy and the browsing activity of goats with reference to geomorphology. The physiognomy of mopane corresponded to geomorphological characteristics of surface structures and soil layer thickness. Consequently, the landscape based on the physiognomy of mopane was more diverse in the mountainous study area. Short, multi-stemmed mopane dominated the pediment and crest surface, while tall, single-stemmed mopane trees dominated the flood plain and ephemeral river bed. We determined that people recognize the differences in vegetation and geomorphology and use this knowledge to ensure good browsing for their goats. Most browsing occurred on pediment, where many short, multi-stemmed mopane plants, an important browsing resource for goats, can be found. The physiognomy of mopane at the study site corresponded to geomorphology and was related to browsing activity.
DOI: 10.14989/96294
Appears in Collections:40 (Historical Change and its Problem on the Relationship between Natural Environments and Human Activities in Southern Africa)

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