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Title Patterns of biodiversity and land use impact in Soebatsfontein, a biodiversity hotspot in South Africa

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Short title Biodiversity and land use in Soebatsfontein

Author(s) Falk, T.(1); Gröngröft, A.(2); Herpel, N.(2); Linke, T.(3); Petersen, A.(2); Schmiedel, U.(4); Vollan, B.(1); Weber, B.(5); Zedda, L.(6)

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Institution(s) (1) Institute for Co-operation in Developing Countries, Philipps-University Marburg; (2) Institute of Soil Science, University of Hamburg; (3) Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Hamburg; (4) Biocentre Klein Flottbek, University of Hamburg; (5) Department of Biology, University of Kaiserslautern; (6) INRES, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität

Keywords Land use impact, drivers of land use strategies, veld management, communal farming, patterns of diversity

Abstract Pedodiversity and bioturbation are major drivers of biodiversity (BSC, lichens, vegetation, zoology) and therefore natural resources on different spatial scales in Soebatsfontein, a biodiversity hotspot in the Succulent Karoo biome of South Africa.

Land management decisions which are influenced by socio-economic conditions on different scales may have a strong impact on the biodiversity and long-term condition of the farm. The land has been handed over in 2000 to previously disadvantaged farmers in the frame of the South African land reform.

To illustrate an example of the multidimensional aspects which drive decision making, the cases of two farmers will be presented. Their management strategies result in contrasting conditions of the farm land. On a microsocial level, an array of factors will be presented to demonstrate that land-use strategies are both- embedded in a wider socio-cultural framework and dependent on individual choices of the actors.

Past and present socio-economic conditions of the communal farmers as a framework for their decision making were analyzed. It will be discussed to which extend new regulations or networks are able to establish a more sustainable range management on the farm. We will finally discuss what this may mean for natural resource management in that case and beyond.

Congress Topic Land use, impact and value

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Ref. No. 583