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fynbos


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A South African name for the sclerophyllous vegetation, physiognomically similar to chaparral, which occurs in the Cape Province. The structure of the fynbos community usually consists of an upper storey dominated by broad-leaved sclerophyllous shrubs with small leaves. In higher latitudes mountain fynbos occurs. This consists of a low, open community, about 1m in height, which is essentially a heath community (see heathland). Many Erica species and ericoid shrubs (e.g. Phylica and Sympieza) occur. These heaths, like those found in the northern hemisphere, have been greatly extended as a consequence of the anthropogenic influence of fire and grazing.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Ecology and Conservation.


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