Biome Information

The name of biome in which the reserve is located:

Fynbos Biome
(Cowling 1992).

General description of biome and morphology

The Fynbos Biome is subdivided into two physiographic elements, each with its own geology. These are the Cape Fold Belt and the Coastal Foreland (Lambrects 1979). Rocks of different ages and types are represented in the biome and a more in-depth description of the geology is given in Theron (1983 vide Deacon et al. 1992). The oldest are the sediments of the Malmesbury, Kango, Kaaimans and Gamtoos groups. Malmesbury Group rocks are exposed over an extended in the south-western Cape, but exposures of other groups associated with fault lines are more restricted. On the surface of these older rocks, subsistence and accumulation of the great thickness of detrital materials that go to make up the rocks of the Cape Supergroup initiated a new cycle of sedimentation. Three groups are recognized. From the oldest to the youngest, they are the Table Mountain Group, the Bokkeveld Group and the Witteberg Group.

Dominant lithological class in biome

Sandstones of the Peninsula Formation of the table Mountain Group (Deacon et al 1992).

Number of lithological classes in biome

Four broad lithological classes, namely granites, shales, sandstones and limestone (Low and Rebelo 1996)

Dominant broad soil pattern class in biome

Quartzite (Mac Vicar et al. 1977)


Number of soil pattern classes in biome

Ten broad associations have been recognized (Mac Vicar et al. 1977):

· Quartzites with very little soils.
· Quartzites with varying amounts of shallow, sandy soils.
· Quartzites with varying amounts of deeper, sandy soils.
· Quartzites with varying amounts of deeper, loamy soils.
· Deep, acid, sandy soils, mainly along the coast.
· Calcareous, sandy soils, mainly along the coast.
· Heavily textured, red and yellow granite soils.
· Heavily textured, highly leached soils from slates and phyllites.
· Heavily textured, moderate to poorly leached soils from slates and phyllites.
· Dominantly duplex soils.

General description of biome vegetation.

The Fynbos Biome is characterised by its high richness in plant species ( over 7 000 species) and its high endemicity – over 80% (Low and Rebelo 1996). The main physiognomic features of the vegetation are the prevalent sclerophyllous shrub form, the scarcity of trees and the relative minor importance of grasses and of evergreen succulent shrubs (Kruger 1979). Fynbos is characterised by the presence of three elements: a restioid; an ericoid; and proteoid component.

Dominant veld type in biome and percentage area

Mountain Fynbos (Veld Type 69, Acocks; Vegetation Type 64, Low and Rebelo 1996), covering 66% of the biome.

Number of South African vegetation types represented in the biome

Low and Rebelo (1996) recognise 5 major vegetation types within the Fynbos Biome:
1/ Mountain Fynbos 2/ Laterite Fynbos 3/ Grassy Fynbos 4/ Limestone Fynbos
5/ Sand Plain Fynbos

The Acocks (1975) synonyms are: Mountain Fynbos (69 and 70); Renosterveld (46); Coastal Macchia (47); and Strandveld (34)


Average precipitation in biome

Rainfall varies from 200mm to 2000mm per year. Below 200mm, Fynbos is replaced by Succulent Karoo.

Drainage regions within which the Biome falls (King and Day 1979)

A. West Coast
B. Olifants
C. Berg and south-west Cape
D. Breede
E. Gouritz
F. Southern Cape
G. Gamtoos

Annual water yield in catchments of biome

The principal drainage systems contribute 14% of the country’s total mean annual runoff, with a mean flow of 5 839 400 megalitres (King and Day 1979).

Dominant current land-use pattern in biome


Some interesting google map impressions.
Please click to enlarge.

vogelgat-overview vogelgat-overview_1 vogelgat-overview_3