A floristic survey will be conducted during the wet season to firstly adhere to internationally accepted best practice requirements for vegetation studies and to determine the species composition of the area of interest. The field work will also encompass forest edges and ecotone areas. This will give an indication of the actual species present on site and these will be discussed in context of plant communities (should the area support distinct communities) within the ecosystem of the area. The protected, endemic, exotic, alien invasive and culturally significant species will also be discussed as separate issues and related back to relevant legal requirements.
A specific sampling method will be used during vegetation survey, however should dominant vegetation types require other methods be used, then these shall be motivated. The sampling method allows for the following to be compiled:
– Vegetation classification regarding plant communities within the area and sub communities and variations of these.
– Species list for each plant community, including diagnostic and dominant species.
– Invasive species (if present) for each plant community.
– Exotic species (if present) for each plant community.
– Protected, Red Data and endemic species for each plant community.
– Culturally significant plant species within each community.
The quantity and location of sampling sites or plots will be finalised prior to field work commencing, the methodology responsible for the stratification of sampling points include soil form, terrain type, land type and aspect. These physical features provide a diversified habitat, which is responsible for the differentiation of vegetation types into homogenous units. The physical size of the stratified vegetation sample plots will be 20m x 20m, which is the accepted size for a savannah biome sample plot. Quantity of vegetation sampling plots are a product of the physical size of the homogenous units identified, with large units containing proportionally more sampling points than small units.