Weather data
A large number of automatic weather stations has been implemented in the frame of the BIOTA AFRICA project by the Namibian National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and the Group "Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology" (BEE) of the University of Hamburg. The website offers hourly updates of data and graphs of a large number of weather parameters.


BIOTA Southern Africa - DS&T Project 8



DS&T 08


Tierberg Karoo Research Centre reborn (1987-2007)

Project leader(s)

Prof. Sue Milton
Conservation Ecology, University of Stellenbosch, P. Bag X01 Matieland 7602, tel 023 5411 556, fax 023 5411 828

Dr Richard Dean, Percy FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town, tel 021 650 3291

Project description

The project will include three components:

  • Field research on (a) the composition, cover and structure of vegetation inside and outside long-term sheep and game exclosures in 2005 and a comparison of this with vegetation data collected between 1988 and present; (b) the epigaeic invertebrate fauna in the exclosure in 1988 and inside and outside the exclosure in 2005; (c) changes in the vegetation of plots experimentally cleared for a period of 15 years, (d) medium-term (8 years) effects of nitrogen additions to Karooid vegetation.

  • Infrastructural maintenance (mending of fences, maintenance of data logger and huts)

  • Training and employment of one part-time para-ecologist drawn from the local community to work with the masters students to collect field data over a period of two years.

SADC and International Links

BIOTA, CNRS, UFZ Germany (vegetation models for the site 1990-2004) Links to long term observations (LTER): The Tierberg Karoo Research Centre was initiated by the NRF in 1987 as the long term ecological research centre for the Karoo Biome Project. It was designed to be equally accessible to students from several universities. The terms of reference were to enhance understanding of processes and dynamics of Karoo vegetation in response to land use. Intensive research on plant and small mammals physiology and population dynamics, and bird community dynamics was undertaken from 1987-1992. PhD theses included those by Dean, Esler, Kerley, Milton and van der Heyden. Lower intensity research was conducted from 1993-present. Projects included research on plant community responses to nutrient additions, competition reduction, tracking of plant population responses to major events and a study of tortoise breeding biology.