Hangklip Sand Fynbos

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Distribution: Western Cape Province: Cape Peninsula on old dune fields at Hout Bay, in the Fish Hoek gap (between Fish Hoek and Noordhoek) and on Smith’s Farm (Cape Point Nature Reserve). Further on it occurs on the coastal flats from Rooiels and Cape Hangklip to Hermanus and it is well developed at the Bot River estuary. Altitude 20–150 m. 41.8% of this vegetation type is found within and 58.2% outside the City. 38.2% is transformed within the City and 31% nationally.

Vegetation & Landscape Features: Sand dunes and sandy bottomlands supporting moderately tall, dense ericoid shrubland. Emergent, tall shrubs in places. Proteoid, ericaceous and restioid fynbos are dominant, with some asteraceous fynbos also present. On the coastal fringe this unit borders on strandveld. The deep soils of the coastal plains are replaced by shallow soils on mountain slopes on the northern edge. Hangklip Sand Fynbos occurs mainly on old dunes, but the high rainfall and leaching allows many typical sandstone fynbos species to occur on older deposits as well, so that this unit is not as floristically distinct as other sandstone fynbos units. 31% of this vegetation type occurs within and 69% outside the City, with similar transformation rates (40%) inside and outside the City.

Geology & Soils: Leached, acid Tertiary sand in coastal areas, derived mostly from dunes. Soils generally of Lamotte or Houwhoek forms or grey, regic sands.

Climate: MAP 520–1 170 mm (mean: 750 mm), peaking from May to August. By far this is the wettest of all the sandstone fynbos types. Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures 25.9°C and 7.5°C for January–February and July, respectively. Frost incidence about 3 days per year.

Endemic Taxa: Low Shrub: Muraltia minuta. Succulent Shrub: Lampranthus serpens. Herb: Hypertelis trachysperma. Geophytic Herb: Haemanthus canaliculatus. Graminoid: Ischyrolepis feminea.

Conservation: Vulnerable. Target 30%. About 20% statutorily conserved in the Table Mountain National Park, Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and Kleinmond Nature Reserve, with an additional 3% protected in private conservation areas such as Sea Farm and Hoek-van-die-Berg. There are several reserves between Pringle Bay and Hermanus, but they are badly mismanaged with a continual attrition of reserves with sewerage farms, graveyards, golf courses and squatters and over-harvesting of flowers and plants for oils. Some 31% has been transformed, mostly by development of holiday home settlements (coastal platform between Pringle Bay and Hermanus), but also by cultivation and building of roads. Alien woody plants include Pinus pinaster, Acacia cyclops, A. saligna, various Eucalyptus species and very many other species in localised patches.

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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