An analysis of vegetation of the Okavango River floodplain, Namibia

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The rapidly expanding population in Namibia has placed increased demands on the country's limited water resources. A proposal has been made for the abstraction of water from a point on the Okavango River near Rundu in Northern Namibia to increase the water supply to the capital city of Namibia, Windhoek. The floodplain vegetation of the river will be affected downstream of the abstraction point, particularly in the regions where flooding is frequent. The aim of this study is to predict the effects of the proposed water abstraction on the distribution of floodplain vegetation downstream of the abstraction point, based on the knowledge that lower stage levels will result from the abstraction of water from the Okavango River. Direct gradient analysis has been used to determine the distribution of plant species in relation to elevation above the water surface and distance from the channel (and therefore to depth and duration of flooding, and sediment deposition respectively). Species associations related to these two environmental gradients have been investigated. Plot scores have been calculated, and those plots most likely to be affected by the proposed abstraction have been identified

BSc Thesis
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