HOME

TheInfoList




Fynbos (; meaning fine plants) is a small belt of natural
shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community A plant community is a collection or Association (ecology), association of plant species within a designated geographical unit, which forms a relatively uniform patch, distinguisha ...

shrubland
or
heathland A heath () is a shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community A plant community is a collection or Association (ecology), association of plant species within a designated geographical unit, which forms a relativ ...
vegetation located in the
Western Cape The Western Cape ( af, Wes-Kaap; xh, iNtshona-Koloni) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnati ...
and
Eastern Cape The Eastern Cape ( xh, eMpuma-Kapa, af, Oos-Kaap, st, Kapa Botjhabela) is one of the provinces of South Africa. Its capital is Bisho, but its two largest cities are East London, Eastern Cape, East London and Gqeberha. The second largest provinc ...
provinces of
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
. This area is predominantly coastal and mountainous, with a
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degre ...
and rainy winters. The fynbos
ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecologically Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including h ...
is within the
Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub is a biome defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The biome is generally characterized by dry summers and rainy winters, although in some areas rainfall may be uniform. Summers are typically hot in ...
biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respi ...
. In fields related to
biogeography Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species and ecosystems in geography, geographic space and through evolutionary history of life, geological time. Organisms and biological communities often vary in a regular fashion along geograp ...

biogeography
, fynbos is known for its exceptional degree of
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

biodiversity
and
endemism Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gro ...
, consisting about 80% (8,500 fynbos) species of the
Cape floral kingdom The Cape Floristic Region is a floristic region located near the southern tip of South Africa. It is the only floristic region of the Cape (South African) Floristic Kingdom, and includes only one floristic province, known as the Cape Floristic ...
where nearly 6,000 of them are endemic. This land continues to face severe human-caused threats, but due to the many economic uses of the fynbos, conservation efforts are being made to help restore it.


Overview and history

The word fynbos is often confusingly said to mean "fine bush" in
Afrikaans Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most po ...
, as "bos" means "bush". Typical fynbos foliage is
ericoid The word "ericoid" is used in modern biological terminology for its literal meanings and for extensions. Etymologically the word is derived from two Greek roots via Latin adaptations. Firstly, the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the ...
rather than fine. The term, in its pre-Afrikaans, Dutch form, ''fynbosch'', was recorded by Noble as being in casual use in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, John Bews referred to: "South-Western or Cape Region of Macchia or Fynbosch". He said: "In this well-known region where the rain occurs in winter and the summers are more or less dry, the dominant vegetation is of a
sclerophyll Sclerophyll is a type of vegetation that has hard leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , ...
ous type and there is little or no natural
grassland Grasslands are areas where the vegetation Vegetation is an assemblage of species and the they provide. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular , life forms, structure, extent, or any other specific or geographic ...

grassland
, though there are many kinds of grass..." He also refers to a high degree of
endemism Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gro ...
in the grasses in that region. Elsewhere he speaks of the term as "...applied by the inhabitants of the Cape to any sort of small woodland growth that does not include timber trees"; in the current vernacular, this still is the effective sense of the word. However, in the technical, ecological sense, the constraints are more demanding. In the latter half of the 20th century, "fynbos" gained currency as the term for the "distinctive vegetation of the southwestern Cape".


Cape Floral Kingdom

Fynbos – which grows in a 100-to-200-km-wide coastal belt stretching from Clanwilliam on the West coast to
Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth, officially renamed Gqeberha () and colloquially often referred to as PE, is a major seaport city and the most populous city in the Eastern Cape The Eastern Cape ( xh, eMpuma-Kapa, af, Oos-Kaap, st, Kapa Botjhabela) is one o ...

Port Elizabeth
on the Southeast coast – forms part of the
Cape floral kingdom The Cape Floristic Region is a floristic region located near the southern tip of South Africa. It is the only floristic region of the Cape (South African) Floristic Kingdom, and includes only one floristic province, known as the Cape Floristic ...
, where it accounts for half of the surface area and 80% of the plant species. The fynbos in the western regions is richer and more varied than in the eastern regions of South Africa. Of the world's six
floral kingdom A phytochorion, in phytogeography Phytogeography (from Greek φυτόν, ''phytón'' = "plant" and γεωγραφία, ''geographía'' = "geography" meaning also distribution) or botanical geography is the branch of biogeography that is concerned ...
s, this is the smallest and richest per unit of area. The
Holarctic The Holarctic realm is a biogeographic realm A biogeographic realm or ecozone is the broadest biogeographic division of Earth's land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial organisms. They are subdivided into ecoregion ...
kingdom, in contrast, incorporates the whole of the Northern Hemisphere north of the tropics. The diversity of fynbos plants is extremely high, with over 9,000 species of plants occurring in the area, around 6,200 of which are
endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gro ...
, i.e. growing nowhere else in the world. South Africa's Western Cape has the vast majority of species with one estimate finding 8,550 species in 89,000 km2, which is higher than that estimated for the Malayan forests, 7,900 species in 132,000 km2. It has been claimed that it exceeds even the richest tropical rainforest in South America, including the Amazon. Of the ''
Erica Erica or ERICA may refer to: * Erica (given name) The given name Erika, Erica, Ericka, or Ereka is a feminine form of Eric, deriving from the Old Norse name ''Eiríkr'' (or ''Eríkr'' in Eastern Scandinavia due to monophthongization). The first el ...
s'', over 600 occur in the fynbos kingdom, while only two or three dozen have been described in the rest of the world. This is in an area of 46,000 km2 – by comparison, the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
, with an area of 33,000 km2, has 1,400 species, none of them endemic.
Table Mountain Table Mountain ( naq, Huriǂoaxa, lit= sea-emerging; af, Tafelberg) is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the ...
in
Cape Town Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad ; Xhosa language, Xhosa: ''iKapa;'') is the second-most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg, and also the legislative Capital city, capital of South Africa. Colloquially named the Mother City, it is ...

Cape Town
supports 2,200 species, more than the entire United Kingdom. Thus, although the fynbos covers only 6% of the area of southern Africa, it has half the species on the subcontinent – and in fact has almost 1 in 5 of all African plant species so far described. Five main river systems traverse the Cape floral kingdom: the ; the Berg River which drains the West Coast Forelands plain stretching from the
Cape Flats The Cape Flats ( af, Die Kaapse Vlakte) is an expansive, low-lying, flat area situated to the southeast of the central business district of Cape Town. Geology and geography In geological terms, the area is essentially a vast sheet of aeolian s ...
to the Olifants; the , which is the largest river on the Cape; the Olifants River (Southern Cape); Gourits and the Groot Rivers which drain the
Little Karoo The Karoo ( ; from the South Khoekhoe Khoe languages, !Orakobab or Khoemana word ''ǃ’Aukarob'' "Hardveld") is a semi-desert natural region of South Africa. No exact definition of what constitutes the Karoo is available, so its extent is also ...
basin and the South Coast Forelands; and the
Baviaanskloof Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve is a protected area in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Characteristics The Baviaanskloof - (Dutch for "Valley of Baboons") - lies between the Baviaanskloof Range, Baviaanskloof and Kouga Range, Kouga mountain ...
and
Gamtoos River 290px, Outcrop of Enon Conglomerate formed by Alluvial deposits in the Gamtoos Valley, on the R331 between Patensie and the Kouga Dam ">Kouga_Dam.html" ;"title="Patensie and the Kouga Dam">Patensie and the Kouga Dam Gamtoos River or Gamptoos Rive ...
s to the east.


Flora

The most conspicuous components of the
flora Flora is all the plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, ca ...

flora
are
evergreen In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Anc ...

evergreen
sclerophyll Sclerophyll is a type of vegetation that has hard leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , ...
ous plants, many with
ericoid The word "ericoid" is used in modern biological terminology for its literal meanings and for extensions. Etymologically the word is derived from two Greek roots via Latin adaptations. Firstly, the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the ...
leaves and gracile habit, as opposed to timber forest. Several plant families are conspicuous in fynbos; the
Proteaceae The Proteaceae form a family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typ ...

Proteaceae
are prominent, with genera such as ''
Protea ''Protea'' () is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circu ...

Protea
'', ''
Leucospermum ''Leucospermum'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), cir ...
'' (the "pincushions"), and '' Leucadendron'' (the
silver tree Silver Tree is a film producer, director and writer originally from Petaluma, California. She was List of wedding guests of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, one of the guests at Meghan Markle's Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, wedding ...

silver tree
and " cone bushes"). Proteas are represented by many species and are prominent in the landscape, generally with large striking flowers, many of which are pollinated by birds, and others by small mammals. Most of these do not have anything like ericoid leaves, and nor do most
Rhamnaceae Rhamnaceae is a large family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typic ...
,
Fabaceae The Fabaceae or Leguminosae,International Code of Nomenc ...

Fabaceae
, or
Geraniaceae Geraniaceae is a family of flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anyt ...

Geraniaceae
. Fynbos
Ericaceae The Ericaceae are a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of soci ...
include more species of ''Erica'' than all other regions combined. They are popularly called heaths and are generally smaller plants bearing many small, tubular or globular flowers and
ericoid The word "ericoid" is used in modern biological terminology for its literal meanings and for extensions. Etymologically the word is derived from two Greek roots via Latin adaptations. Firstly, the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the ...
leaves.
Restionaceae The Restionaceae, also called restiads and restios, are a family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the sam ...

Restionaceae
also occur in greater variety in fynbos than anywhere else; their species are superficially grass-like. Many of them grow in wet areas such as seasonal marshes and spongy basins in the sources of mountain streams, but others grow in decidedly arid conditions. Depending on the locality and the aspects under discussion, several other families have equal claim to being characteristic, including
Asteraceae The family (biology), family Asteraceae, alternatively Compositae, consists of over 32,000 known species of flowering plants in over 1,900 genera within the Order (biology), order Asterales. Commonly referred to as the aster, daisy, composite, o ...

Asteraceae
,
Rutaceae The Rutaceae is a family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically ...
, and
Iridaceae Iridaceae is a family of plants in order Asparagales Asparagales (asparagoid lilies) is an order (biology), order of plants in modern classification systems such as the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) and the Angiosperm Phylogeny Web. The o ...

Iridaceae
. More than 1400 bulb species occur among the fynbos, of which 96 are ''
Gladiolus ''Gladiolus'' (from Latin, the diminutive of ''gladius ''Gladius'' () is a Latin word meaning "sword" (of any type), but in its narrow sense, it refers to the sword of Ancient Rome, ancient Roman foot soldiers. Early ancient Roman swords wer ...

Gladiolus
'' and 54 ''
Lachenalia ''Lachenalia'' is a genus (biology), genus of bulbous perennial plants in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae, which are usually found in Namibia and South Africa. Most of them have a dormancy period, but new roots will always grow ever ...
''. Areas that are dominated by "renosterbos", ''
Elytropappus rhinocerotis ''Elytropappus rhinocerotis'' (commonly known as renosterbos or "rhinoceros bush") is a species of flowering plants in the daisy family, Asteraceae, endemism, endemic to South Africa. It is a very obvious component of the unique Renosterveld Veget ...
'', (Asteraceae) are known as
Renosterveld Renosterveld is a term used for one of the major plant community, plant communities and vegetation types of the Cape Floristic Region (Cape Floral Kingdom) which is located in southwestern and southeastern South Africa, in southernmost Africa. It ...
(Afrikaans for "rhinoceros veld").


Vegetation types

Fynbos vegetation types, code FF: * Agulhas Limestone Fynbos (FFl 1) * Agulhas Sand Fynbos (FFd 7) * Albertinia Sand Fynbos (FFd 9) * Algoa Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 29) * Atlantis Sand Fynbos (FFd 4) * Bokkeveld Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 1) * Boland Granite Fynbos (FFg 2) * Breede Alluvium Fynbos (FFa 2) * Breede Quartzite Fynbos (FFq 4) * Breede Sand Fynbos (FFd 8) * Breede Shale Fynbos (FFh 4) * Canca Limestone Fynbos (FFl 3) * Cape Flats Sand Fynbos (FFd 5) *
Cape Winelands Shale Fynbos Cape Winelands Shale Fynbos is a vegetation type that naturally occurs in the Cape Winelands (or "Cape Winelands, Boland") of the Western Cape, South Africa. This vegetation type is found on lower mountain slopes and high, rolling plains in the We ...
(FFh 5) * Cederberg Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 4) * Central Coastal Shale Band Vegetation (FFb 4) * Central Inland Shale Band Vegetation (FFb 3) * De Hoop Limestone Fynbos (FFl 2) * Eastern Coastal Shale Band Vegetation (FFb 6) * Eastern Inland Shale Band Vegetation (FFb 5) * Elgin Shale Fynbos (FFh 6) * Elim Ferricrete Fynbos (FFf 1) * Garden Route Granite Fynbos (FFg 5) * Garden Route Shale Fynbos (FFh 9) * Graafwater Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 2) * Greyton Shale Fynbos (FFh 7) * Grootrivier Quartzite Fynbos (FFq 5) * Hangklip Sand Fynbos (FFd 6) * Hawequas Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 10) * Hopefield Sand Fynbos (FFd 3) * Kamiesberg Granite Fynbos (FFg 1) * Kango Conglomerate Fynbos (FFt 1) * Knysna Sand Fynbos (FFd 10) * Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 11) * Kouebokkeveld Alluvium Fynbos (FFa 1) * Kouebokkeveld Shale Fynbos (FFh 1) * Kouga Grassy Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 28) * Kouga Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 27) * Leipoldtville Sand Fynbos (FFd 2) * Loerie Conglomerate Fynbos (FFt 2) * Lourensford Alluvium Fynbos (FFa 4) * Matjiesfontein Quartzite Fynbos (FFq 3) * Matjiesfontein Shale Fynbos (FFh 2) * Montagu Shale Fynbos (FFh 8) * Namaqualand Sand Fynbos (FFd 1) * North Hex Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 7) * North Kammanassie Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 25) * North Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 15) * North Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 18) * North Rooiberg Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 21) * North Sonderend Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 13)? * North Swartberg Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 23) * Northern Inland Shale Band Vegetation (FFb 1) * Olifants Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 3) * Overberg Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 12) * Peninsula Granite Fynbos (FFg 3) * Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 9) * Piketberg Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 6) * Potberg Ferricrete Fynbos (FFf 2) * Potberg Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 17) * Robertson Granite Fynbos (FFg 4) * South Hex Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 8) * South Kammanassie Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 26) * South Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 16) * South Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 19) * South Rooiberg Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 22) * South Sonderend Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 14) * South Swartberg Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 24) * Southern Cape Dune Fynbos (FFd 11) * Stinkfonteinberge Quartzite Fynbos (FFq 1) * Suurberg Quartzite Fynbos (FFq 6) * Suurberg Shale Fynbos (FFh 10) * Swartberg Altimontane Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 31) * Swartberg Shale Fynbos (FFh 3) * Swartland Alluvium Fynbos (FFa 3) * Swartruggens Quartzite Fynbos (FFq 2) * Swellendam Silcrete Fynbos (FFc 1) * Tsitsikamma Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 20) * Western Altimontane Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 30) * Western Coastal Shale Band Vegetation (FFb 2) * Winterhoek Sandstone Fynbos (FFs 5)


Fauna

The fynbos is home to many unique and endemic animals, with 7 species of endemic bird and an unknown number of endemic reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods. The 7 avian endemics include the Cape rockjumper, Cape sugarbird, Victorin's warbler, Orange-breasted sunbird, Protea canary, Cape siskin, and Fynbos buttonquail.


Ecoregions

The fynbos area has been divided into two very similar
ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecologically Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including h ...
s: the lowland fynbos (below 300 m above sea level) on the sandy soil of the west coast, and the montane fynbos of the Cape Fold Belt. The Lowland Fynbos and Renosterveld experiences regular winter rainfall, especially to the west of Cape Agulhas. The ecoregion has been subdivided into 9 areas: the West Coast Forelands from the Cape Flats to the Olifants River (Western Cape); the Warm Bokkeveld basin around the town of Ceres, Western Cape, Ceres; the Elgin Valley around the town of Elgin, Western Cape, Elgin; the sandy Agulhas Plain on the coast; the Breede River valley around the town of Worcester, Western Cape, Worcester; the South Coast Forelands from Caledon, Western Cape, Caledon west to Mossel Bay; the south-eastern end of the Little Karoo; Langkloof valley; and the Southeastern Coast Forelands west from Tsitsikamma to
Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth, officially renamed Gqeberha () and colloquially often referred to as PE, is a major seaport city and the most populous city in the Eastern Cape The Eastern Cape ( xh, eMpuma-Kapa, af, Oos-Kaap, st, Kapa Botjhabela) is one o ...

Port Elizabeth
. The flora of the lowlands contains a high number of endemic species, and tends to favour larger plants than those growing on the hillier areas. They include the larger Restionaceae such as species of ''Elegia (plant), Elegia'', ''Thamnochortus'', and ''Willdenowia (plant), Willdenowia'' and proteas such as king protea (''Protea cynaroides'') and blushing bride (''Serruria florida''). Particular types of lowland fynbos include the shrubs and herbs of the coastal sand dunes, the mixture of ericoids and restoids with thickets of shrubs such as ''Maytenus'', and other Celastraceae, sideroxylons and other Sapotaceae, and ''Rhus'' and other Anacardiaceae on the coastal sands; the classic fynbos of the sandplains of the West Coast Forelands, and the Agulhas Plain; the grassy fynbos of the hillier and wetter areas of the South and South-Eastern Coast Forelands; areas where fynbos and renosterveld are mixed; coastal renosterveld on the West and South Coast Forelands; and the inland renosterveld of the drier inland Little Karoo and Warm Bokkeveld. The area is also home to a large number of endemic creatures that have adapted to life in this area, such as the monkey beetles which pollinate ''Ixia viridiflora''. Endemic species of fish in the five river systems occur in the area, too. Endemic reptiles and amphibians include a number of tortoises and the chameleon-like arum frog (''Hyperolius horstockii''). The Montane Fynbos and Renosterveld is the area above 300 m, a total of 45,000 km2 of the Cape Fold Mountains. The same level of floral variety, including all three characteristic fynbos families, is found there, but ericas predominate. Because the higher and wetter areas are more protected and contain important water sources, the original flora is more intact than in the lowlands; but agriculture and global warming are still threats. The region includes the mountains in the west from the Cape Peninsula to the Kouebokkeveld Mountains, the south coast hinterland from Elgin to Port Elizabeth, the mountains north of the Little Karoo from Laingsburg, Western Cape, Laingsburg to Willowmore, and the inselberg hills within the Little Karoo. About half of these areas are originally fynbos, and about half are renosterveld. Many different microclimates occur, so the flora changes from west to east, and also varies with altitude up the hillsides away from the coast and according to compass direction. Lower elevations are covered with protea fynbos, with ericas taking over further up. Plant species include pincushions (''
Leucospermum ''Leucospermum'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), cir ...
''). The wildlife includes a number of endemic bees, beetles, horseflies, and ants, and birds such as Cape sugarbirds and the orange-breasted sunbird. Many of these birds and insects are important and specific pollinators for the fynbos, such as the mountain pride butterfly (''Aeropetes tulbaghia'') which only visits red flowers such as ''Disa uniflora'' and pollinates 15 different species. Larger animals include antelopes, particularly Cape grysbok (''Raphicerus melanotis''), common duiker (''Sylvicapra grimmia''), and klipspringer (''Oreotragus oreotragus''). The extinct Bluebuck, blue antelope and quagga were also fynbos natives.


Economic uses

Rooibos (''Aspalathus linearis'') and honeybush (''Cyclopia intermedia'') are of economic importance, grown and harvested in large quantities in the Cederberg area, and providing important exports. Restios continue to be used for thatching, as they have for hundreds or even thousands of years. Proteas and other floral species are grown in many areas and their flowers harvested for export. In many areas with Mediterranean climates, fynbos species have become popular garden plants, in particular aloes and pelargonium, geraniums, and in cooler regions are used as window plants. A very large number of fynbos plant species are used in traditional medicine, and while only a tiny proportion have as yet been subjected to formal testing, many have already been identified as having medicinal properties.


Threats and conservation

The fynbos is the region of South Africa most affected by Invasive species, invasive alien species which collectively cover around 10% of the entire country. The most common invasive plants are Acacia sensu lato, wattles and hakeas, native to Australia, and Pinus radiata, pines native to Europe and the Californian coast of the United States. Pines had been introduced to South Africa by the 19th century and the wattles were imported into the mid-1870s to stabilize sand dunes. In 1997 it was estimated that invasion caused the fynbos region to decline in value by US$750 million per year. The Working for Water (WfW) program was started in 1995 by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to control these invasive species which were shown to sequester 9.95% of usable surface water runoff. Since then, over 100,000 hectares of land have been cleared of invasive species while providing jobs to around 20,000 people per year, most of which are women and unskilled workers. Systematic monitoring of WfW's progress is lacking but there is anecdotal evidence that endemic silver peas have returned to Table Mountain after being thought extinct. File:Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve - city of Cape Town.JPG, Researchers in a relatively remote stretch of Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos File:Harmony Flats Nature Reserve - city of Cape Town.jpg, Community conservation group for the critically endangered remnant of Lourensford Alluvium Fynbos at Harmony Flats,
Cape Town Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad ; Xhosa language, Xhosa: ''iKapa;'') is the second-most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg, and also the legislative Capital city, capital of South Africa. Colloquially named the Mother City, it is ...

Cape Town
.


See also

* *


References


External links


Fynbos Paradise of South Africa

''Images of Fynbos''

''Western Cape School Network'' on fynbos

"Protea Atlas Project"
with excellent information and images.
Fauna & Flora International's work on fynbos

Fynbos Photography (organized taxonomically)

Conservation and Land Restoration Project at TerraPi,SA
*


WfW Program official page
{{Coord, 34, 10, 0, S, 18, 22, 30, E, source:frwiki_region:ZA_scale:100000, display=title Fynbos, Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub in South Africa Ecoregions of South Africa Flora of South Africa, Ecoregions of Africa