Gaolatlhe Tsheboeng

Title:  Consequences of changing flood regime on floodplain vegetation communities in the Okavango Delta.   
Student: G. Tsheboeng
Country of origin: Botswana
University: University of Botswana
Degree:  MPhil (Natural Resources Management)
Supervisor:  Dr. M.C. Bonyongo, Dr. M. Murray-Hudson
Year of registration: 2009
Student number: 200401466

Seasonal flooding is the major determinant of the functioning of the Okavango Delta floodplains. Flow variations are known to be the most important drivers in structuring wetland vegetation communities. However, until now, the effects of extreme floods on the vegetation of the Okavango Delta floodplains are largely unknown despite the fact that such events are likely to be more frequent because of climate change.

Inflow data collected at Mohembo by the Department of Water affairs dating as far back as 1933 show the flooding patterns of the Okavango Delta with extended periods of averagely low floods and averagely high floods. The same data also shows that this year's flood falls among the large floods in terms of inflow volume. However, how the current above average flood affects the floodplain vegetation and vegetation phytosociology and related environmental variables is not known.

The objectives of this study are therefore to:

  1. To compare vegetation species composition in Nxaraga floodplains under high flood regime to vegetation species composition under low flood regime in the Nxaraga floodplains.
  2. To establish environmental variables that determine vegetation species composition and distribution in the Okavango Delta floodplains.
  3. To measure standing stock biomass in different vegetation zones in Nxaraga floodplain.

Last Modified: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 12:53:24 SAST