Post-Congress Tour: Nyslvley Provincial Nature Reserve

The Post-Congress Tour will be held on Friday 19 July 2013 from 09h00 and finishing at 13h00.

Post-Congress Tour: Nyslvley Provincial Nature Reserve

The Post-Congress Tour will be held on Friday 19 July 2013 from 09h00 and finishing at 13h00.

Savanna tree phenology and life history strategies

Nyslvley Provincial Nature Reserve is located within one of Nylsvley 2
South Africa's largest inland floodplains. Water from the nearby Waterberg drains into the Nyl system, creating an ideal environment for a rich and varied birdlife (over 350 species recorded), particularly waterfowl. Roan are among the numerous mammalian fauna conserved in the reserve. From 1974. and thereafter for some sixteen years, the reserve buzzed with activity, as the site of the South African Savanna Ecosystem Project. This was an unprecedented (in South Africa) major inter-disciplinary research initiative, involving collaboration between several universities, research institutes and government departments. The aim was "to develop the understanding necessary to predict changes in the ecosystem's stability induced by various natural and human-induced stresses". During its heyday, there was virtually "a scientist behind every bush" as a visiting journalist once wrote. The project synthesis is contained in the book "An African Savanna: Synthesis of the Nylsvley study” authored by Bob Scholes and Brian Walker (1993, Cambridge University Press). The field trip will include a brief description of the Project and the main lessons gleaned. There will be a visit to a current CSIR project looking at savanna tree phenology and life history strategies, and a drive through the reserve, including additional points of special interest.

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