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Size distribution of baobabs on Kubu Island, Sowa Pan (northern Botswana); an indicator of late-stage evolution of the Makgadikgadi palaeo-lake and climate change

Andy Moore, Tyrel Flugel, T. Hutton-Squire, Martin Hutton-Squire and Glynis Humphrey
Size distribution of baobabs on Kubu Island, Sowa Pan (northern Botswana); an indicator of late-stage evolution of the Makgadikgadi palaeo-lake and climate change
South African Journal of Geology (September 2016) 119 (3): 535-544

Abstract

We have investigated the size class distribution (SCD) of baobabs on a rocky outcrop, known alternatively as Kubu or Lekhubu, located in the southwest of Sowa Pan, northern Botswana. This study is aimed primarily at determining whether baobab girths show any systematic distribution relative to elevation, linked to palaeo-lake levels during the late Holocene. A secondary objective was to determine whether the SCD of the species might reflect late Holocene climatic changes. Our data show no systematic link between baobab size and elevation, and that the distribution of the species on the outcrop does not provide evidence for former levels of the palaeo-lake. Rather, the population structure is strongly influenced by large, old baobabs, which have provided localized long-lived seed centres favourable for sporadic germination and recruitment to the Kubu population. The broadly unimodal SCD of the Kubu baobab population does not appear to reflect climate changes over the lifespan of the species (up to approximately 1500 years). This is most likely linked to the development pattern of the species, with rapid growth over the first quarter to half of the tree's life, followed by subsequent very slow growth rates.


ISSN: 1012-0750
EISSN: 1996-8590
Serial Title: South African Journal of Geology
Serial Volume: 119
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Size distribution of baobabs on Kubu Island, Sowa Pan (northern Botswana); an indicator of late-stage evolution of the Makgadikgadi palaeo-lake and climate change
Affiliation: Rhodes University, Department of Geology, Grahamstown, South Africa
Pages: 535-544
Published: 201609
Text Language: English
Publisher: Bureau for Scientific Publications, Pretoria, South Africa
References: 20
Accession Number: 2017-006394
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch maps
S21°19'60" - S21°19'60", E24°37'60" - E24°37'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Stellenbosch University, ZAF, South AfricaKirstenbosch Garden Centre, ZAF, South AfricaUniversity of Cape Town, ZAF, South Africa
Country of Publication: South Africa
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Geological Society of South Africa. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201705
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