Sneeuberg Centre of Endemism

Sneeuberg Centre of Endemism - Southern Africa : The Sneeuberg centre, near Graaff-Reinet, with neighbouring ranges: Onder-Sneeuberge, Koueveldberge, Tandjiesberg, Bankberg and Renosterberg, forms a continuous, dolerite-dominated massif over 200 km from Murraysburg to Cradock. Much of it exceeds 1 800 m

The Sneeuberg centre, near Graaff-Reinet, with neighbouring ranges: Onder-Sneeuberge, Koueveldberge, Tandjiesberg, Bankberg and Renosterberg, forms a continuous, dolerite-dominated massif over 200 km from Murraysburg to Cradock. Much of it exceeds 1 800 m above sea level and some over 2 000 m. The highest peak is Compassberg at 2 503 m - the 'Matterhorn of the Karoo' (just n of Nieu Bethesda), with Nardousberg at 2 429 m the second highest (just e of Graaff Reinet).

The vegetation of the Sneeuberg is dominated on lower slopes by shrubby Nama Karoo ( e.g. Renosterbos, Euryops annae, Rhus dregeana, Dodonaea thunbergiana, Melolobium and Lessertia frutescens).
The south-facing kloofs and ravines are characterized by dense bushveld and incipient forest dominated by trees and shrubs (e.g. Dogwood, Cheesewood, Glossy Current, Common Spikethorn, Wild Olive White Stinkwood and Sweetthorn).
At about 1 700 m a dense Merxmuellera-dominated grassland takes over, with Ouhout and Sagewood communities in the drainage lines and scree slopes.

High altitude Drakensberg elements reach their western limits here.
Fynbos elements (e.g. Ischyrolepis distracta, Grubbiaceae (1 sp)*, Penaeaceae (2 spp)*, Erica (5 spp) and Cliffortia (4 spp)) reach their easternmost extent here.

Following extensive literature review and a detailed collecting programme, the Sneeuberg has a total flora of 1195 plant species, including 107 (9%) alien, 33 (2.8%) endemic, and 13 (1.1%) near-endemic species.

Source:
The Flora of the Sneeuberg http://pza.sanbi.org/https://api.ispotnature.org/storage/app/sites/default/files/info_library/flora_Sneeuberg.pdf
The Sneeuberg: A new centre of floristic endemism on the Great Escarpment, South Africa V.R. Clark, N.P. Barkera, L. Mucina 2009, South African Journal of Botany 75, 196–238: https://www.academia.edu/591667/Clark_V.R._Barker_N.P._and_Mucina_L._2009_._The_Sneeuberg_A_new_centre_of_floristic_endemism_on_the_Great_Escarpment_South_Africa._South_African_Journal_of_Botany_75_196-238 (www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254629908003141)

* I wont believe these until I see them ... (ahem: they did not make the final published paper).

22 Dec 2015
Tony Rebelo