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Title Plant Functional Types of vegetation and their distribution over time and space on the Etjo Erosion Plains

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Short title Plant Functional Types in Central Namibia

Author(s) Strohbach, M.; Van Rooyen, G.

Presenting author Strohbach, M.

Institution(s) Department of Plant Science, University of Pretoria

Keywords emergent groups; attribute response groups; thornbush savanna

Abstract Trait-based approaches are widely used to simplify plant distribution patterns across ecosystems. Understanding the functionality of trait-based strategies is an important tool towards understanding ecosystem properties, and can thus be equally valuable for ecosystem management. However, defining such plant functional types will only be a useful management tool if at least the key traits are easily recognisable in the field. Visible traits for the most common species on a farm on the Etjo Erosion plains were recorded and used in a cluster analysis to determine Plant Functional Types (PFT). Further, it was attempted to link the occurrence of these PFT's to specific soil characteristics or specific habitats.

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