<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
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