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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 Province. The Cape Floristic Region, the smallest of the six recognised floral kingdoms of the world, is an area of extraordinarily high diversity and endemism, and is home to over 9,000 vascular plant species, of which 69 percent are endemic.[1] Much of this diversity is associated with the fynbos biome, a Mediterranean-type, fire-prone shrubland.[1] The economical worth of fynbos biodiversity, based on harvests of fynbos products (e.g. wildflowers) and eco-tourism, is estimated to be in the region of R77 million a year.[1] Thus, it is clear that the Cape Floristic Region has both economic and intrinsic biological value as a biodiversity hotspot.[1]

Contents

1 Location and description 2 Flora 3 Ecology 4 World Heritage Site 5 References 6 External links

Location and description[edit] Home to the greatest non-tropical concentration of higher plant species in the world, the region is the only hotspot that encompasses an entire floral kingdom, and holds five of South Africa’s 12 endemic plant families and 160 endemic genera. Covering 78,555 km², Cape Floristic Region hotspot is located entirely within the borders of South Africa. It is one of the five temperate Mediterranean-type systems on the hotspots list, and is one of only two hotspots that encompass an entire floral kingdom (the other being New Caledonia)[citation needed]. The Region covers the Mediterranean climate region of South Africa in the Western Cape in the southwestern corner of the country, and extends eastward into the Eastern Cape, a transitional zone between the winter rainfall region to the west and the summer-rainfall region to the east in KwaZulu-Natal. Flora[edit] Most of the region is covered with fynbos, a sclerophyllous shrubland occurring on acid sands or nutrient poor soils derived from Table Mountain Sandstones (Cape Supergroup). Fynbos is home to an amazing diversity of plant species including many members of the Protea family (Proteaceae), Heath family (Ericaceae), and Reed family of restios (Restionaceae). Other vegetation types are sandveld, a soft coastal scrubland found mostly on the west-facing coast of the Western Cape Province, on tertiary sands. Renosterveld is a grassy shrubland dominated by members of the Daisy family (Asteraceae – particularly renosterbos (Elytropappus rhinocerotis), graminoids and geophytes, occurring on the base-rich shaley soils of the coastal forelands. Small pockets of Afromontane forest (Southern Afrotemperate Forest) can be found in humid and sheltered areas. According to Takhtajan (1978), the following families are endemic or subendemic to the region: Grubbiaceae, Roridulaceae, Bruniaceae, Penaeaceae, Greyiaceae, Geissolomataceae, Retziaceae (Retzia) and Stilbaceae.[2][3] Ecology[edit] The World Wildlife Fund divides the Cape floristic region into three ecoregions, the Lowland fynbos and renosterveld, Montane fynbos and renosterveld and the Albany thickets. The fynbos ecoregions are designated one of the Global 200 priority ecoregions for conservation. Conservation International declared the Cape floristic region to be a biodiversity hotspot. It is thought that the Cape Floristic Region is experiencing one of the most rapid rates of extinction in the world due to habitat loss, land degradation, and invasive alien plants.[4] World Heritage Site[edit]

Biodiversity hotspots of the world showing the Cape Floristic Region (number 12)

In 2004, the "Cape Floral Region Protected Areas" were inscribed as a World Heritage Site. The site includes eight representative protected areas:

Table Mountain National Park Cederberg Wilderness Area Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area Boland Mountain Complex (Limietberg Nature Reserve, Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve, Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, Kogelberg Nature Reserve) De Hoop Nature Reserve Boosmansbos Wilderness Area Swartberg Complex (Swartberg Nature Reserve, Gamkapoort Nature Reserve, Towerkop Nature Reserve) Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve

References[edit] This article incorporates CC BY-3.0 text from the reference[1]

^ a b c d e Odendaal L. J., Haupt T. M. & Griffiths C. L. (2008). "The alien invasive land snail Theba pisana in the West Coast National Park: Is there cause for concern?". Koedoe – African Protected Area Conservation and Science 50(1): 93-98. abstract, doi:10.4102/koedoe.v50i1.153. ^ Тахтаджян А. Л. Флористические области Земли / Академия наук СССР. Ботанический институт им. В. Л. Комарова. — Л.: Наука, Ленинградское отделение, 1978. — 247 с. — 4000 экз. DjVu, Google Books. ^ Takhtajan, A. (1986). Floristic Regions of the World. (translated by T.J. Crovello & A. Cronquist). University of California Press, Berkeley, PDF, DjVu. ^ South African Press Association (14 August 2014). "Cape is world's extinction capital". Retrieved 20 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cape Floristic Region (Cape Floral).

Conservation International: Cape floristic Region – biodiversity hotspot Cape Action: the Cape floristic Region

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Floristic regions of the world

Holarctic Kingdom

Circumboreal Eastern Asiatic North American Atlantic Rocky Mountain Macaronesian Mediterranean Saharo-Arabian Irano-Turanian Madrean

Paleotropical Kingdom

Guineo-Congolian Usambara-Zululand Sudano-Zambezian Karoo-Namib St. Helena and Ascension Madagascan Indian Indochinese Malesian Fijian Polynesian Hawaiian Neocaledonian Australian

Neotropical Kingdom

Caribbean Guayana Highlands Amazonian Brazilian Andean

South African Kingdom

Cape

Australian Kingdom

Northeast Southwest Central Australian or Eremaean

Antarctic Kingdom

Fernandezian Chile-Patagonian South Subantarctic Islands Neozeylandic

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Regions of Africa

Central Africa

Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Cape Lopez Mayombe Igboland

Mbaise

Maputaland Pool Malebo Congo Basin Chad Basin Congolese rainforests Ouaddaï highlands Ennedi Plateau

East Africa

African Great Lakes

Albertine Rift East African Rift Great Rift Valley Gregory Rift Rift Valley lakes Swahili coast Virunga Mountains Zanj

Horn of Africa

Afar Triangle Al-Habash Barbara Danakil Alps Danakil Desert Ethiopian Highlands Gulf of Aden Gulf of Tadjoura

Indian Ocean islands

Comoros Islands

North Africa

Maghreb

Barbary Coast Bashmur Ancient Libya Atlas Mountains

Nile Valley

Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt Nile Delta Nuba Mountains Nubia The Sudans Upper Egypt

Western Sahara

West Africa

Pepper Coast Gold Coast Slave Coast Ivory Coast Cape Palmas Cape Mesurado Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Niger Basin Guinean Forests of West Africa Niger Delta Inner Niger Delta

Southern Africa

Madagascar

Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands

Rhodesia

North South

Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta False Bay Hydra Bay

Macro-regions

Aethiopia Arab world Commonwealth realm East African montane forests Eastern Desert Equatorial Africa Françafrique Gibraltar Arc Greater Middle East Islands of Africa List of countries where Arabic is an official language Mediterranean Basin MENA MENASA Middle East Mittelafrika Negroland Northeast Africa Portuguese-speaking African countries Sahara Sahel Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan (region) Sudanian Savanna Tibesti Mountains Tropical Africa

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World Heritage Sites in South Africa

For official site names, see each article or the List of World Heritage Sites in South Africa.

Cape Floral Region Protected Areas Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa

Cradle of Humankind Makapan Valley Taung Child

iSimangaliso Wetland Park Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape Robben Island uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park Vredefort Dome ǀXam and

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