The Wetland Book pp 1423-1436 | Cite as

Peatland Types and Tropical Swamp Forests on the Maputaland Coastal Plain (South Africa)

  • Althea T. Grundling
  • Ab P. Grootjans
  • Piet-Louis Grundling
  • Jonathan S. Price
Reference work entry

Abstract

The Maputaland Coastal Plain (MCP) is on the north-eastern seaboard of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. It hosts a variety of wetlands and mire types that range from rare tropical swamp forest and calcareous fens to various inter-dune settings with groundwater-fed to surface water fed fens and floodplains. The MCP peatland areas are important not only for biodiversity (e.g. many endemic species) and supporting subsistence cultivation but they also host the largest and thickest peat deposits found in South Africa. The peatlands on the MCP developed in a drowned dune landscape and the peat thickness vary from 0.5 to 11 m. Threats and future challenges on the peatlands in Maputaland include the effects of land-use practices: plantations, agriculture and urbanization. Attempts to conserve swamp forests are often frustrated by the different management frameworks of provincial conservation agencies and the national government.

Keywords

Groundwater Hydrology Mire types Subsistence cultivation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Althea T. Grundling
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ab P. Grootjans
    • 2
    • 6
  • Piet-Louis Grundling
    • 3
  • Jonathan S. Price
    • 4
  1. 1.Water Science ProgrammeAgricultural Research Council – Institute for Soil, Climate and WaterPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Centre for Energy and Environmental StudiesUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Centre for Environmental ManagementUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  4. 4.Department of Geography and Environmental ManagementUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  5. 5.Applied Behavioural Ecology and Ecosystem Research UnitUniversity of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa
  6. 6.Institute for Water and Wetland Research, Radboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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