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Towards a structural-functional classification of fynbos: a comparison of methods

By P. Linder and B. M. Campbell


<p>The need for a classification of the vegetation of the fynbos region is stressed. In the present work we have evaluated some structural-functional approaches that could be used to classify and describe fynbos.  A priori and  a<em> posteriori</em> approaches to classification are reviewed. The a <em>posteriori</em> approach appears to be superior.Test data derived from 21 plots from a range of fynbos types were used to test some methods of collecting and analysing structural-functional information for an  a posteriori  classification. With respect to data collection, no single method was superior. However, a major improvement on our methodology would be possible if the growth-form system used were to be extended. The classifications that were erected were produced by means of computer-based numerical methods. These methods are essential if large data sets are to be analysed. However, the structural-functional classifications produced by numerical methods should only be regarded as working hypotheses; refinement of the classifications should proceed by intuitive methods. We feel that the a <em>posteriori</em> approach, even though it has its problems, will provide a suitable methodology for an ecologically meaningful classification of fynbos vegetation.</p

Topics: General. Including nature conservation, geographical distribution, QH1-199.5
Publisher: AOSIS
Year: 1979
DOI identifier: 10.4102/abc.v12i4.1444
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:8aca3c10523947a280c3afc77ef1ecc9
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