OVERBERG RENOSTERVELD CONSERVATION TRUST NEWS
Newsletter 30 | April 2022
by Dr Odette Curtis-Scott.
Take a moment today to appreciate the basis of life… plants
Today we celebrate International Plant Appreciation Day. This is very apt for the ORCT, but we celebrate our incredible plant diversity every day! Plants form the basis of all life (after soil of course): They provide grazing for herbivores and small insects, nectar to avian and insect pollinators, fruit and seed to numerous mammals and birds, and shelter or safe breeding spaces to a diversity of life forms.
The Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR) is known as the smallest, but richest of six globally recognised Plant Kingdoms. It encompasses the Fynbos and Succulent Karoo Biomes. Renosterveld falls within the former and while it is not always as obviously flashy and bold as its pretty fynbos cousins, it contains a floral diversity which exceeds most others globally.
We have recorded over FIFTY species in a mere 1X1 square metre quadrat in recently-burnt Renosterveld!
In fact, a closer look at this understated habitat reveals a never-ending array of beautiful jewels – a richness of pretty bulbs, annuals, legumes, vygies and grasses – all supporting a diversity of life desperately holding onto this fragile and damaged system.
Each year, we take small steps towards conserving and restoring more of these refuges: A task that at times can feel thankless and heavy, but reaps its rewards through the knowing that we are affording more and more of these gems some security for the future.
We hope you enjoy this latest update of our Renosterveld news. Thank you again for supporting and following our work.