Over the past several days, we've had two student presentations covering the distribution of vegetation within Botswana. On Saturday, Geoff presented on the various trends of woody vegetation along a precipitation gradient which cuts through Botswana northward into Zambia. This gradient, known as the Kalahari transect, provides researchers with an open-air laboratory, allowing them to predict how vegetation will respond to expected climatic changes.
Today, Preston spoke about observed changes in woody cover, soil type, and species assemblages along the Kalahari transect within Botswana. His article observed a positive relationship between the amount of precipitation within a region and the amount of vegetation. This relationship was however influenced by multiple factors, such as the local climate, geology, and land management regime.
Geoff showing off his map of Southern Africa, with precipitation levels and associated vegetation.
Preston pointing out the research sites used in his article.