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Afromontane forest

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Afromontane forest

Unread postby Genome » Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:15 pm

Reading through all these documents about the restoration of indigenous species, the restoral of Afromontane Forests pops up quite a bit. What exactly are Afromontane Forests and where can they be restored? A big patch of Tokai forest was felled at about a year or so ago and so far I haven't seen a single tree growing there. Is the Tokai region a feasible area for Afromontane forest restoration? And if not, can any sort of forest be grown there besides a Pine one?

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Unread postby restio » Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:23 pm

Hi Genome, and welcome to the forum!

"Afromontane" literally means "African mountain" thus Afromontane forest refers to African mountain forests. Tree species found in these forests include the well-known yellowwood (Podocarpus spp) and stinkwood (Ocotea bullata). The Knysna forest is an example of a South African Afromontane forest.

Afromontane forests are very beautiful, and have been significantly reduced due to logging activities. As with any forest, regeneration will doubtless be a lengthy process, but worth it for the sake of our children and their children.

SANParks website wrote:While we have no real indication of the expanse of Afromontane Forest on the peninsula in pre-colonial times, today only small pockets remain in the TMNP as within 50 years of European settlement large swathes of Afromontane had been harvested.

Afromontane Forest usually occurs below 800m and requires good rainfall and nutrient rich soil and today is found primarily in kloofs on the slopes of Table Mountain but it does occur as far south as the Cape of Good Hope. It consists of medium-height (15m-20m), evergreen trees and unlike its neighbour fynbos, it is not very rich in diversity and consists of around 33 species of tree.

Due to the dense nature of the forest canopy only a few other plants, such as ferns, are found in the forest but there is a profusion of algae’s and mosses. The majority of animals in the forests are of the reptilian, invertebrate (insect) or avian persuasion although you can see rooikat and smaller antelope such as steenbok.

For more general information on Afromontane forests, follow this link.
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