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vol.62 issue2Identification of hydropedological flowpaths in Stevenson-Hamilton catena from soil morphological, chemical and hydraulic properties author indexsubject indexarticles search
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On-line version ISSN 2071-0771
Print version ISSN 0075-6458


JANECKE, Beanelri B. et al. Biotic and abiotic connections on a granitic catena: Framework for multidisciplinary research. Koedoe [online]. 2020, vol.62, n.2, pp.1-11. ISSN 2071-0771.

Local environmental gradients on a catenal scale create ecological patterns from the crest to the stream of the hillslope. Bottom-up drivers interact with top-down controls to give rise to these patterns. A multidisciplinary project was conducted to study the processes that govern functioning, structure and heterogeneity on a catena in a third-order catchment in the Southern Granite Supersite in the Kruger National Park. The project included abiotic components (e.g. groundwater-surface water interactions, soil chemical and physical properties) as well as biotic components (e.g. soil microbes, small aquatic organisms in ephemeral pools, plant communities, vegetation structure and mammal diversity). Each of these components was investigated in detail along the catenal gradient and reported on in separate articles in this special issue. The drought of 2015-2016 occurred during the sampling period of the study and information on the response of vegetation and mammals to the drought were included. In this article, a synthesis of findings from the separate components or disciplines is provided to highlight the interactive functioning and ecological patterns of the catena. These findings were then used to develop a framework for multidisciplinary studies in similar environments. The framework highlights the interactive relationships between various components of the ecosystem and the importance of a multidisciplinary approach.CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS: The findings of this study were used to develop a conceptual framework outlining how a range of biotic and abiotic patterns and processes interact along the catenal gradient. The framework highlights the importance of recognising these interactions in a multidisciplinary approach focused on one supersite

Keywords : Climate; Hydrology; Interdisciplinary studies; Mammals and mud wallows; Trophic levels.

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