Global Grassy Group workshop and herbaceous sampling
Future Ecosystems for Africa hosted a Global Grassy Group workshop at Telperion Nature Reserve in the South African highveld in November 2022. We gathered 13 scientists and students working on filling gaps in understanding how human activities alter biodiversity and community dynamics of herbaceous ground-layer communities.
Work led by Frances Siebert and Future Ecosystems for Africa, in particular, focuses on the damaging and irreversible effects of ploughing on these ancient and diverse communities. At Telperion, we compared sites with different historical land-uses, and found that herbaceous diversity at a previously-ploughed site was half of that at a never-ploughed site and with different community compositions.
At the workshop we identified three major research themes that the team would be driving in the next few years, and developed strategies for disseminating our results and engaging with forestry departments and herbaria across Africa.