NATURAL ABUNDANCE

OUR NATURAL HERITAGE

The Magaliesberg mountain region is recognised as a climactic transitional area between two bioclimatic zones – a warm temperate climate with dry winters in grassland, and a hot, arid steppe climate, with dry winters in savanna. These subtle climactic differences echo the boundary of two distinct South African Biomes – grassland and savanna. The savanna biome is climatically similar to grassland, but with higher minimum temperatures, and savanna generally has a higher Mean Annual Potential Evaporation (MAPE) than grassland (Mucina & Rutherford, 2010 ). The climatic transition and biome interface means that the Magaliesberg Biosphere is represented by species that occur in both biomes that may be more tolerant of variations in climate, as well as species from either the grassland or savanna biome that have adapted to the specific climatic conditions of either. This could indicate that some species found here occur at the limit of their ranges (Carruthers, 2015). The near-natural state of the landscape with large unfragmented patches, variations in altitude and south-facing slopes and kloofs as cool, moist refuge sites, makes this an important region for climate change resilience and adaptability.

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