Cape Winelands Shale Fynbos

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Incorporating Peninsula Shale Fynbos

Distribution: Western Cape Province: Higher hills and lower mountain slopes in the Stellenbosch and Somerset West areas, in patches from Blousteen on Clarence Drive at Koeëlbaai to south of Elsenberg and within the Jonkershoek Valley, with pockets on the Cape Peninsula at Devils Peak, the Tygerberg Hills on Kanonkop, Groenberg near Wellington and the upper Franschhoek Valley. Altitude 0–700 m. 37.5% of this vegetation type occurs within and 62.5% outside the City. However, transformation rates are higher nationally (54%) than inside City borders (46.3%).

Vegetation & Landscape Features: Moderately undulating plains and steep slopes against the mountains. Vegetation is a moderately tall and dense shrubland dominated by proteoid and closed-scrub fynbos in structural terms.

Geology & Soils: Acidic, moist clay-loamy, red-yellow apedal and Glenrosa and Mispah forms derived from Malmesbury Shales.

Climate: MAP 520–1 690 mm (mean: 865 mm), peaking from May to August. This is the shale fynbos unit with the highest rainfall. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 26.4°C and 6.6°C for February and July, respectively. Frost incidence 2 or 3 days per year.

Endemic Taxon: Geophytic Herb: Moraea aristata.

Conservation: Vulnerable, but well conserved. Target 30% already reached since about 25% is statutorily conserved in the Table Mountain National Park, Helderberg and Hottentots Holland Nature Reserves. An additional 25% enjoys protection in mountain catchment areas (Hottentots Holland, Hawequas). The rest of the area has been transformed, mainly for pine plantations and vineyards as well as by urban development in the Cape Town metropolitan area. Essentially only the steeper upper portions remain. The notable woody aliens include Pinus pinaster and Hakea sericea.

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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