Peter J Carrick, M Susan Botha and Raldo Kruger
The book is written in Afrikaans
Although based on robust science, the book is about ‘can-do’- farmers, miners, consultants, government regulators and industry can, and should, all use this book to make a change in their patch. Written to be accessible to all, the nine chapters represent a state-of-the-art restoration tool-kit for Namaqualand.
The book starts with a comprehensive introduction to the region, its uniqueness, history, diversity, and the impacts to its ecosystem. This leads onto Chapter 2 which introduces the plant life, their adaptations and ecology of the region. Important aspects of restoration are covered in Chapter 3: how to get the soil right. Innovative methods used to stabilise land surfaces in areas where high winds and localised flooding occur due to the absence of plant life are covered in Chapter 4. The art and science of seed collection is introduced in Chapter 5, ensuring restoration opportunities are maximised by fleeting periods of seed ripeness. Chapter 6 covers the “restoration packs”, where the team devised unique approaches for creating plant recruitment niches and microhabitats to maximise restoration success. Chapter 7 and 8 discuss direct transplanting and nursery production methods. The final chapter provides an innovative and user-friendly 100-point system to assess restoration success.
Important concepts are presented with colourful, illustrated and impactful photographs and sketches. Although focused on restoring the Namaqualand; the methods discussed also apply to ecosystems in other regions of the Karoo and further semi-desert regions where shrubs, herbs and succulents occur.
I recommend this book to all who care for the planet and the protection of unique and irreplaceable places like Namaqualand.
Chair, Society for Ecological Restoration
John Curtin Distinguished Professor, Curtin University, Australia