Maputaland in the northeast corner of KwaZulu-Natal lies at the southern end of one of the largest coastal plains in Africa. It is a beautiful area and incredibly species rich, with high levels of plant and animal endemism. The sand forest of Maputaland is especially unique in its biological diversity, geological history and vegetation dynamics.
This book provides a comprehensive natural historical overview of Maputaland, covering subjects such as: early explorers and inhabitants, topography and hydrology, climate, geology, soils, effect of fires, the biotic environment and vegetation.
The sand forest of Maputaland is discussed in detail, with information about the differences between the various forest types, the soils of the sand forest, allelopathy, the origin of sand forest, the surrounding vegetation, as well as the fauna and flora of the sand forest.
Information about the fauna and flora of the Maputaland Sand Forest is given in a narrative format, where interesting plants and animals are discussed in chapters titled, amongst others, ‘The magical ordeal tree’, ‘Torches in the forest’, ‘Sherbets and bushbabies’, ‘The deadman’s tree’, ‘Climbers and owls’ and ‘The winged-fruited ones’.
Information is also provided about marine sediments and fossils, as well as about accommodation, reserves and leopards of the region. Information for plants and animals discussed includes a short description, the scientific and vernacular names (and origin or meanings of these names), as well as interesting uses and interactions.
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