Quick-scan Landscape Ecological Analyses (LESA’s) in Southern Africa

In the period 2004-2015 ERA has worked with many South-African scientists and National Park managers and has contributed to the knowledge of peatlands and wetlands in Southern Africa. Most projects are financed by the South-African Water Research Commission (WRC), some by private companies, but most are not financed by third parties. The results of this long-term involvement are used to develop a typology of peatland systems in Southern Africa. Examples of simple quick-scan landscape analyses are those of Mahlalapanga, Mfayeni (both hot springs in Kruger National Park), calcareous spring systems in Mapungupwe (Limpopo Province). Such peatl and systems are extremel rare in South Africa and are in need of protection.

Photo: Small chalk depositing marsh in the National Park Mapungupwe in Northern
South Africa.

Figure  1. Overview of the peat domes of Mahla
la panga in Kruger National Park. Yellow = groundwater fed peat domes. Blue = open water. Green = marsh vegetation. Black is trampled peat caused by Elephants, Rhino and Buffalo.

Photo: (Hot) spring system in Mahlalapanga.

Photo: (Hot) spring system in Mahlalapanga, heavily damaged by Elephant.

Photo: Piet-Louis Grundling searching for peat in the Okavango Delta (Botswana).