Fynbos

Fynbos, an iconic vegetation type of the Greater Cape Floristic Region, is characterized by presence of three plant groups –plants from the Restionaceae family (restios), broad-leaved shrubs with ornamental and noteworthy inflorescences from the Proteaceae family (proteas), and fine-leaved shrubs or shrublets from the genus Erica (heathers). Besides those dominants, fynbos harbors a unique diversity of other plant groups, which makes it the most diverse biome of South Africa (with more than 7.3 thousand species and higher beta and gamma diversity than tropical rainforests). The most salient examples of diversification in the fynbos biome are genera like Erica, Aspalathus, Agathosma and Phylica as well as numerous genera of geophytes (e.g. Disa, Geissorhiza, Ixia, Lachenalia, Moraea, Oxalis) and others. The biome is maintained by fire (usually once per 15-25 years).

Besides typical fynbos vegetation, the Renosterveld and Strandveld vegetation types are part of the fynbos biome.

Fynbos typical
Fynbos vegetation typically contains Proteaceae, Restionaceae and Ericaceae
Fynbos in fire
Fire — a fundamental, non-selective graze factor maintaining the Fynbos biome

 


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