Syntaxonomy and zonation patterns in coastal salt marshes of the Uilkraals Estuary, Western Cape (South Africa)
Mucina, Ladislav; Janssen, John A.M.; O'Callaghan, Mike
Vegetation on salt marshes of the Uilkraals Estuary (near Gansbaai, Western Cape, South Africa) is described and classified into 11 associations and/or rank-less plant communities (further subdivided into a number of sub-units). These communities were grouped into 6 high-rank syntaxa (alliances and community groups of preliminary syntaxonomic status). The Salicornion meyerianae, Sarcocornion decumbentis, Spergulario mediae-Puccinellion angustae, Samolo porosi-Juncion kraussii and Crassulo glomeratae-Sarcocornion capensis were described as new alliances. The dominating species in this estuarine system comprise Salicornia meyeriana, Sarcocornia perenni agg., S. capensis, S. decumbens, Bassia diffusa, Limonium sp. nova, Juncus kraussii subsp. kraussii, Sporobolus virginicus, Triglochin bulbosa etc. Zonation patterns in the salt marsh are characterised and compared to analogous vegetation in Europe and some Southern Hemisphere regions. This paper lays a foundation stone for the definition of a formal syntaxonomic system of South African salt marshes.