Cape Lowland Freshwater Wetlands

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Distribution: W Cape; altitude from 0-400m. 14.7% of this vegetation type occurs within and 85.3% outside the City. However transformation rates are higher inside City borders (55%) than nationally (22%).

Vegetation & landscape: flats & depressions with extensive tall reeds of Phragmites australis & Typha capensis, temporarily or permanently flooded restiolands, sedgelands & rush-beds as well as macrophytic vegetation embedded in permanent water bodies. . Important species include Senecio halimnifolius, Paspalum vaginatum, Pennisetum macrourum, Triglochin bulbosa, Bolboschoenus maritimus and Juncus krausii.

Geology, soil & hydrology: substrate built of fine sandy, silty or clayey soils over young Quaternary sediments, largely derived from weathering Cape Supergroup shales & granites & Table Mountain sandstones. In places, especially on shales, these wetlands can acquire a brackish character.

Endemic: Low shrubs: Passerina paludosa; water bodies: Aquatic herbs: Aponogeton angustifolius, A. distachyos, Cotula myriophylloides.

Conservation: Critically endangered; Target 24%, some 14% conserved in Cape Peninsula & Agulhas National Parks, Rondevlei, Zandvlei etc.

Information on Cape Town's vegetation comes from Summarised Descriptions of National Vegetation Types Occurring in the City of Cape Town by Patricia Holmes, Biodiversity Management Branch, July 2008

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