Biogeography and Ecology of Southern Africa by Lester King (auth.), M. J. A. Werger (eds.)

By Lester King (auth.), M. J. A. Werger (eds.)

Southern Africa is definitely now not a clearly bounded region in order that there are a number of probabilities for delineating it and ideas approximately its volume. Wellington* mentioned a few of the percentages for delineation and advised that one line sticks out extra essentially and positively as a actual boundary than the other, specifically the South Equatorial Divide, the watershed among the ZaIre, Cuanza and Rufiji Rivers at the one hand and the Z ambezi, Cunene and Rovuma Rivers at the different. This South Equatorial Divide is certainly an enormous line of separation for a few organisms and can also be acceptable in a definite geographical feel, even though it doesn't own the slightest value for lots of different teams of organisms, ecosystems or geographical and actual good points of Africa. The putting of the northern boundary of southern Africa differs in reality strongly consistent with clinical dis­ cipline and is usually encouraged via functional issues concerning the probabilities of medical paintings as subordinate to sure political realities and traditionally grown traditions. this can be illustrated, for instance, in such works because the plants of Southern Africa, the place the northern boundary of the world is conceived because the northern and jap political limitations of South West Africa, South Africa and Swaziland. Botswana, often integrated within the region coated via the plants Zambesiaca, therefore types a wide wedge in 'Southern Africa'.

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King, L. C. 1958. Basic Palaeogeography of Gondwanaland during the late Palaeozoic & Mesozoic Eras. Geo!. Soc. Lond. Quart. Journ. 114:44-70. King, L. C. 1962. The Morphology of the Earth. Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh. 2nd ed. 1967. King, L. C. 1967. South African Scenery, 3rd ed. Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh. 17 2 Climatic indices and classifications in relation to the biogeography of southern Africa R. E. Schulze and O. S. McGee· 1. Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Radiation flux densities there are of the order of 300 x 10' J m- 2 day-I. It is of interest to note that this zone of maximum radiation intensity is close to the 22 10" 10" 20" 20" INCOMING RADIATION 30" (WINTER) (10' Jrn- 2 day-l) (a) 200 400 600 800 kms '" '" 40" 10" 10" 20" 40'----_ INCOMING RADIATION (SUMMER) 30 (b) Fig. 1. Incoming radiation patterns. (10' Jrn -2 day-l) 200 400 Ions 600 800 coast. According to Drummond & Vowinckel (1957) Alexander Bay's radiation fluxes 'are probably among the highest ever to be recorded at sea level, amounting to 76 per cent of that available extraterrestrially'.

Within plant communities or associations the direct influences of temperature affect inter alia rates of growth, plant stature, seed germination, time of flowering and 25 maturing of tissues, while certain plant mechanisms have adapted to seasonal or diurnal temperature fluctuations. Critical temperature indices therefore, like summer maxima, winter minima (and associated frosts) or ranges are of more significance to plant distribution than means, which differentiate only the broad thermal divisions into megathermal plants (requiring mean monthly temperatures ~ 20°C for ~ 4 months), microthermal plants ~ 8 months with means ~ looC) and the mesothermal plants of the mid-latitudes and the greater part of southern Africa, whose physiology is adapted to strong seasonal climatic rhythms.

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