A test of psbK-psbI and atpF-atpH as potential plant DNA barcodes using the flora of the Kruger National Park (South Africa) as a model system.
- Authors: Lahaye, Renaud R. Y. , Savolainen, Vincent , Duthoit, Sylvie , Maurin, Olivier , Van der Bank, Michelle
- Date: 2008-05-16
- Subjects: Plant DNA barcoding , DNA barcoding , Kruger National Park (South Africa)
- Type: Article
- Identifier: uj:5728 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5286
- Description: DNA barcoding is a new technique that uses short, standardized DNA sequences (400-800 bp) of an organism to determine its identity. Because this sequence has to be variable enough to identify individual species, but not too variable within the same species so that a clear threshold can be defined between intra- and inter-specific diversities, it is very challenging to apply this technique to all species on the planet . A DNA barcode has been identified for animals, i.e. the mitochondrial gene cox1 , which shows strong abilities in identifying cryptic species, accelerating biodiversity inventories and helping to identify species from degraded material (e.g. to control trade of threatened). For plants, the identification of a suitable DNA barcode is more problematic. Cho et al. showed that mitochondrial DNA evolves too slowly in plants to provide a region variable enough to discriminate between species. Then the quest for the best suitable barcode started and is still ongoing.
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Review of the ecological implications of artificial waterhole closures in the Kruger National Park and the effect thereof on tourism
- Authors: Van Wyk, Louise
- Date: 2011-06-22T10:45:30Z
- Subjects: Watering troughs , Savanna ecology , Tourists attitudes , Kruger National Park (South Africa)
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: http://ujcontent.uj.ac.za8080/10210/388491 , uj:7117 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3710
- Description: M.Sc. , Boreholes in the Kruger National Park (KNP) was at first developed to increase the number of animals that were at low densities because of poaching, diseases, fencing and low permanent water availability. This development of artificial waterholes without managerial measures or knowledge of possible consequence led to negative impacts on the environment. These included that the higher concentration of herbivores around artificial waterholes led to a change in vegetation; secondary vegetation growth did not support the feeding habits of water dependent species; the infiltration rate of water in the soil surrounding waterholes changed and animal distribution patterns also changed, in turn changing the predatory base. Due to the above the KNP developed a new water policy. The policy states that all artificial waterholes that are open should be part of natural ecosystem principles. This led to the closure of many artificial waterholes that did not conform to the requirements of the new water policy. This study aimed to determine the ecological implications of artificial waterholes and whether tourism will be affected by the closure of these artificial waterholes. The following two hypothesis were thus tested in this project: i) Artificial waterholes have ecological implications on the environment. ii) The closure of artificial waterholes will have a negative response from tourists and thus affect tourism to the KNP. The results from this project indicated that both these hypothesises can be accepted as the available literature clearly showed that artificial waterholes do have a negative impact on the environment and that the majority of the tourist questioned asked for the waterholes to be opened again. The latter reaction was mainly due to the tourist‟s concern that the animals will suffer and die without water. Furthermore the visitors are concerned they won‟t see animals anymore. This result can partly be due to the low awareness of the visitors on the subject. No effort was made to communicate these decisions, and the reasons it‟s based on, to the public. Although a certain number of artificial waterholes were closed according to the new KNP policy, it is still important to keep a number open due to fact that KNP is not a natural system. It is suggested however that the closure of the artificial waterholes take place differently, following a principle of rotational opening and closing of patches of waterholes to allow recovery of vegetation and facilitate migration between waterholes.
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A baseline assessment of selected seasonal pans in the Kruger National Park, South Africa
- Authors: Taylor, Shaun
- Date: 2012-06-07
- Subjects: Kruger National Park (South Africa) , Pans (Geomorphology) - Environmental aspects , Wetland ecology , Water quality biological assessment
- Type: Mini-Dissertation
- Identifier: uj:8681 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5036
- Description: M.Sc. , Owing mostly to the ephemeral nature, pan wetlands aren’t afforded the attention that other (arguably) more attractive or functional wetland types entertain. In the Kruger National Park, the study of its freshwater resources has focused mainly on the water quality of its rivers leaving pans almost entirely unaccounted for, until now. The aims of this study were to determine a baseline assessment of the structural, hydrological, physico-chemical and biological characteristics of eight selected seasonal pans in the Kruger National Park. The results of this study show that the pans are relatively small (<1.3 hectares), shallow (from 0.4 to 1.1metres), of various shapes and can hold a greater volume of water where greater depth and increasingly concave basin profiles are present. The physico-chemical characteristics typically showed high summer sub-surface water temperatures (up to 38°C), anaerobic conditions, pH values of 6.2 to 7, low alkalinity, varied conductivity, turbid conditions and generally could be described as oligotrophic in terms of nutrients. The dominant anion in most cases was sulphate. Iron was the dominant metal in the water chemistry of the pans. Several dissolved metals in the water chemistry of the pans were relatively high in concentration including aluminium, zinc, copper, cadmium, lead and selenium when evaluated against national water quality standards. Overall, limited spatial and temporal similarities were observed between the pans in terms of the physico-chemical characteristics of the water. The sediment of the pans can be considered as high in organic content, generally moist and comprising of predominantly either very fine sand sediments or coarse sand with appreciable amounts of medium coarse sediments. In general, manganese was the most abundant metal in the sediments, followed by relatively high concentrations of chromium, nickel, copper and zinc when compared with international sediment quality standards. Correlations between metal concentrations, sediment size and organic content were not strong.Lastly, the degree of grass cover for some pans show remarkably similar variation in the degree of change with distance from the brim of the pans outward. The trees immediately surrounding the pans however, are diverse and generally correspond with earlier studies of the vegetation of the Kruger National Park.
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Phylogenetic analysis of plant community assemblages in the Kruger National Park, South Africa
- Authors: Yessoufou, Kowiyou
- Date: 2012-08-16
- Subjects: Plant communities , Kruger National Park (South Africa) , Cladistic analysis , Savanna ecology , Herbivores
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:9574 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5998
- Description: D.Phil. , What underlies species distribution and species coexistence has long been of key interest in community ecology. Several methods and theories have been used to address this question. However, it still remains a controversial debate. The recent development of plant DNA barcodes with possibility of merging phylogeny with ecology brings high expectation in uncovering the processes underlying community assemblages. Previous works that used molecular approach in community ecology focused mainly on rainforests. Using a phylogenetic approach, this study brings novel understandings about savanna ecology, especially regarding how megaherbivores impact plant community composition. The Kruger National Park (KNP) is one of the world’s largest reserves, but less studied from a phylogenetic perspective. A DNA database of 445 DNA sequences (plant DNA barcodes, rbcLa + matK) was generated for the woody plants of the KNP. This database proves reliable in reconstructing the phylogeny of Angiosperms of the park. Based on this phylogeny, the present study characterised plant community composition, and investigated how megaherbivores influence this composition. Results indicate that plant communities in the KNP are not neutral, i.e. they are more clustered than expected under various null models. This suggests that ecological forces, most likely habitat filtering may be playing key role in dictating community structure in the KNP. The KNP is well-known for its richness in megaherbivores. The contribution of these animals to the current shape of plant community structures was therefore further investigated. Where megaherbivores have been excluded, plant diversity decreases, but shifts in plant community structure are contingent upon the initial community composition, suggesting that herbivory might be important filter that drives the clustering pattern observed.
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The influence of AVS in sediments upon the bioavailability of metals in the mudfish, Labeo molybdinus, from the Olifants River, Kruger National Park
- Authors: Dyke, Sarah
- Date: 2012-08-16
- Subjects: Acid-volatile sulphides , Labeo - Effect of metals on , Metal wastes , Gravel roads - Environmental aspects , Commercial forests - Environmental aspects , Aquatic ecology , Olifants River (South Africa) , Kruger National Park (South Africa)
- Type: Mini-Dissertation
- Identifier: uj:9553 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5979
- Description: M.Sc. , Sediments within riverine systems act as sinks for metals. Aquatic organisms which are associated with sediments are therefore at risk of being exposed to metals that can be taken up, resulting in adverse biological responses. Due to the processes of bioconcentration and bioaccumulation, all organisms within a food web are thus potentially exposed. Different sediment characteristics can alter the concentrations of metals which are bioavailable to organisms, as well as their impact upon the effected organism. The bioavailability of sediment-bound metals is determined by complex interactions amongst various environmental, biological, physical and chemical parameters. The effects of metals on aquatic organisms are associated with the type and duration of exposure, the concentration and bioavailability of the pollutants, and the sensitivity of the organisms to the toxic effects of the contaminants. Rivers such as the Olifants in Mpumalanga River contain high concentrations of metals. This is due to increased levels of mining activities within the catchment area, which impact directly upon the system. The river has also has an increased siltation load resulting from amplified agricultural, mining and afforestation activities. Following their introduction to aquatic systems, metals from mining effluents adsorb to sediments and suspended particles within the aquatic environment. These metals are then available for uptake by aquatic organisms. The aim of this study is to determine whether acid-volatile sulphides (AVS) influence the availability of sediment-bound metals to benthic dwelling fish species. The study was undertaken in the Olifants River Kruger National Park. At the 5 selected Sites sediment and the bottom dwelling Leaden mudfish (Labeo molybdinus) (Sites 1, 2 and 3) were sampled during a low flow period. Bioavailable metal concentrations in sediments were determined using the Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) soil extraction protocol. As certain characteristics influence metal uptake and bioavailability within sediment, the concentrations of AVS and total organic carbon (TOC) within the sediment were also analysed. Liver tissue samples of L. molybdinus were analysed for Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn using ICP-OES and ICP-MS techniques. Water nutrient and anion analysis and characterisation of dissolved and suspended metal concentrations were assessed using a Merck Spectroquant Photometer SQ 118, and the Thermofisher x-series ICP-MS, respectively. Analysis revealed high concentrations of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and SO4 2- within the water column, with high metal concentrations within analysed Total Suspended Solids (TSS).
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A histology-based health assessment of selected fish species from two rivers in the Kruger National Park
- Authors: Smith, Warren Clifford
- Date: 2012-08-20
- Subjects: Kruger National Park (South Africa) , Freshwater fishes - Histology , Water pollution , River pollution
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:2712 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/6153
- Description: M.Sc. , The Olifants- and Luvuvhu rivers both flow through the Kruger National Park (KNP). The Olifants River (OR) is a major tributary of the Limpopo River with water quality being less than desirable due to high concentrations of pollutants as a result of the activities in the upper catchment. The crocodile population of the river declined from 1000 in 2008 to 347 in 2009 due to pansteatitis. Labeobarbus marequensis in the upper catchment also showed symptoms of the disease (Templehoff, 2010). This raised concern about the health of the fish in the OR, particularly in the section flowing through the KNP. The Luvuvhu River (LR) is also a tributary of the Limpopo River with main land uses in the catchment being agriculture, mining and communal lands. Of concern is the finding of DDT residues in water, sediment, and domestic and indigenous biota upstream of the sites sampled in this study (Barnhoorn et al., 2009) which raised concerns about the health of fish in the lower reaches of the river flowing through the KNP. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the health status of  selected fish species from the OR and LR in the KNP using a histology-based health assessment protocol (HBHA). The species selected for this study included Hydrocynus vittatus, Labeobarbus marequensis, Labeo cylindricus and Labeo rosae. The OR was sampled in September 2009 and May 2010 while the LR was sampled in November 2009 and April 2010. A necropsy was done to determine if there were any internal or external macroscopic alterations with any alterations noted on a score sheet. Blood was taken for haematocrit (Hct), leukocrit (Lct) and total plasma protein (TP) determination. As part of the HBHA, a necropsy-based health assessment index (HAI) was applied using a modified protocol of Adams et al. (1993) where the necropsy and blood parameters were used to calculate the mean and sum HAI for the different species sampled on each sampling trip. Biometric indices including the condition factor, hepatosomatic index, splenosomatic index and the gonadosomatic index were calculated. Age was determined using otoliths for tigerfish and scales for the other species. Samples of selected organs (liver, kidney, gill, testes or ovaries) were taken for histological analysis. Microscope slides were assessed qualitatively to identify any histological alterations present. These results were semi-quantitatively assessed according to the protocol of Van Dyk et al. (2009a) from which an organ index and fish index were calculated. The organ index is an indication of the number and severity of histological alterations in a particular organ of a selected species. The organ indices were classed according to the classes of Van Dyk et al. (2009a) with Class 1 (<10) being tissue with slight histological alterations; Class 2 (10-25) being tissue with moderate histological alterations. The fish index is a sum of all of the organ indices for any given fish sampled.
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Sustainable tourism development and the role of marketing at the Kruger National Park
- Authors: Diggines, Colin Neville
- Date: 2012-09-05
- Subjects: Kruger National Park (South Africa) , Tourism - South Africa - Marketing. , Ecotourism - South Africa.
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:9630 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/7049
- Description: M.Comm. , Tourism development has the potential to have significant impacts on the environment. To ensure that tourism is sustainable into the future there needs to be a balance between tourism development and environmental concerns. The move towards sustainable tourism development requires that there be a closer co-operation among four very different stakeholders. These stakeholders include the tourism business, the environment, the host population, and the tourist. The main purpose of this research was to identify, at the Kruger National Park, the levels of awareness and understanding of the concept of sustainable tourism development amongst the four stakeholders. Also are identified are their viewpoints on how to achieve sustainable tourism development, their efforts to ensure it, and the role that marketing can play to ensure sustainable tourism development. This study, being exploratory in nature, made use of in-depth interviews (a qualitative technique) to gather the needed primary data. In-depth interviews were conducted at the Kruger National Park with representatives from the various stakeholder groups. Observation of physical aspects and people behaviours were used to supplement the in-depth interviews. Overall, it was found that most groups are aware of the need to balance environmental concerns with tourism development. Tourists however, are less aware of concepts such as sustainable tourism development than the other stakeholders It is was found that in some cases there is a lack of communication between some of the various stakeholders on various issues. The respondents in this case thought that the other stakeholders might disagree with them on certain issues when in fact their ideas were similar. Strong emphasis is being placed on developing relationships with the local communities and involving them in the decisions that affect them. It is realised that these local communities can have a major impact on the larger ecosystem around the park and could eventually destroy tourism if they are ignored. Local communities need to benefit from the existence of the park. Overall, the respondents do not have a clear understanding of what marketing entails or the contribution it can make to ensuring sustainable tourism development. Marketing is viewed by most as simply selling bed-nights. The marketing function at the Kruger National Park is ineffective and not given the support or attention it requires to operate effectively. For marketing to play a significant role at the park serious attention needs to be given to redesigning the entire marketing department. It is absolutely essential that tourism be developed in an environmentally sustainable manner to ensure the industry's future existence. Marketing of the park needs to be done in a manner that will not lead to the environment being exploited. Marketing, apart from simply selling the park, can play an important role in developing a conservation ethic amongst tourists and potential tourists. This educational role extends to the youth of the country who are the future tourists, tourism developers and conservationists.
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Free-living nematodes from rivers in the Kruger National Park
- Authors: Botha, Annelize Susan
- Date: 2014-02-11
- Subjects: Kruger National Park (South Africa) , Nematodes - South Africa - Kruger National Park
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:3813 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/9185
- Description: D.Phil. (Nematology) , This was the first study on aquatic nematodes from the Kruger National Park. Samples were taken more or less randomly over a period of two years from the four main rivers in the park, viz. the Crocodile, Sabie, Olifants and Luvuvhu rivers. A total of 33 species representative of 24 genera were found. Dorylaimida seemed to be dominant in most of the sampling sites in the Sabie, Olifants and Luvuvhu Rivers, but there was no dominant group in the Crocodile River. Five new Dorylaimida species are described: Dorylaimus deaconi spec. nov., Laimydorus olifanti spec. nov., Laimydorus africanus spec. nov.; proleptonchus krugeri spec. nov. and Aporcelaimellus glandus spec. nov. Previously known dorylaim species which were redescribed in detail are Mesodorylaimus sp.cf paralitoralis Basson & Heyns, 1974; M. potus Heyns, 1963, M. aegypticus (Andrassy, 1958), Aquatides thornei (Schneider, 1937), Afractinolaimus zairensis (Baqri, Coomans & Van der Heiden, 1975) and Oxydirus gangeticus Siddiqi, 1966. Further dorylaim species recorded are Aporcelaimellus micropunctatus Botha & Heyns, 1990, Discolaimus monoplanus Heyns, 1963, D. major Thorne, 1939, Xiphinema italiae Meyl, 1953, Thornenema baldum (Thorne, 1939), Tyleptus striatus Heyns, 1963 and Dorylaimellus (Axodorylaimellus) caffrae (Kruger, 1965) . The following Tylenchida species were found: Hemicycliophora labiata Colbran, 1969, Helicotylenchus africanus (Micoletzky, 1916) and Scutellonema brachyurum (Steiner, 1939). Three Araeolaimida species were recorded, viz. Chronogaster africana Heyns & Coomans, 1980, Plectus cirratus Bastian, 1865 and Rhabdolaimus terrestris de Man, 1880. The latter species is redescribed in full collected and (de Man, 1979). Only one species of the Cromadorida viz. Achromadora ruricola 1880), Enoplida viz. Eutobrilus annetteae (Joubert & Heyns, Monhysterida viz. Monhystera somereni Allgen, 1952, were Detailed descriptions are given to incorporate additional morphological information obtained. Brief descriptions and new distribution records are also given for Mononchus truncatus Bastian, 1865, M. aquaticus Coetzee, 1968 and Mylonchulus minor (Cobb, 1893) of the Mononchida and Ironus longicaudatus de Man, 1884 and I. ignavus Bastian, 1865 of the Iro~idae.A diagnostic compendium for the Mesodorylaimus species of South Africa and a checklist of the free-living and plant parasitic nematode species from both terrestrial and aquatic habitats in the park are also included. Most of this work has already been published or submitted for publication in scientific journals and is presented in this thesis in the same format as required by the editors of the journals concerned.
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Citizen-centred constituency in conservation : the potential value of volunteerism for the Kruger National Park
- Authors: Shabalala, Lombuso Precious
- Date: 2016
- Subjects: Voluntarism - South Africa - Kruger National Park , Conservation of natural resources - South Africa , Kruger National Park (South Africa) , Volunteers - South Africa - Kruger National Park
- Language: English
- Type: Masters (Thesis)
- Identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/10210/83348 , uj:19081
- Description: Abstract: The South African current ruling government led by the African National Congress (ANC), has promised to serve the people of South Africa without discrimination, respecting the dignity of all and ensuring that the needs of the majority of the population, particularly those who had been disadvantaged in the past, would be met efficiently and effectively. The needs of South Africans encompass many things which include the right to access public spaces for health and leisure activities. The idealisation of Batho Pele “people first”, is seen as a key on gaining the buy-in for the continued survival of national and provincial parks through encouraging the participation of many communities who may see the South African national and provincial public wildlife/wild area parks as historically - ‘not for them’. This study sought to understand how to encourage racial and cultural diversity participation in the Honorary Rangers (HR) of South Africa who actively recruit volunteers from the South African public to work with and for the wild area parks. The wild area parks are not only custodians of the country’s national ecosystems and ecodiversity, but also play an important role for domestic and international leisure tourism activities while providing many diverse business tourism related opportunities. The activities of the HR are strongly supported by SANParks in their efforts to engender citizen-centred support. The focus area of this research is the Kruger National Park. The study has used a predominantly qualitative approach to investigate the potential value of volunteerism through Honorary Rangers. Research samples for this study were collected from six stakeholder groups (chapter 3) as follows: 9 samples from Honorary Rangers (qualitative interviews, September 2014); 9 samples from KNP staff members (qualitative interviews, October 2014); 2 samples from government tourism experts (qualitative interviews, October 2014 – April 2015); 4 samples from high school tourism educators (qualitative interviews, October 2014); 65 samples from undergraduate tourism students (quantitative survey, October/ November 2014); and 71 samples from local Kruger Park community members (qualitative interviews, October 2014). A key finding is the multiple roles of types of communication required to talk to South Africans about conservation. Overall, the findings make recommendations for a more holistic approach, beginning from government departments such as the Department of Education through communities and parks, to community youngsters. The findings also strongly support the role of Honorary Rangers to bridge and influence stronger community alliances through improved communication channels to communities on ecotourism and eco-education. These actions can become a powerful part of conservation reality, giving a sense of ownership between all South African communities and their National Parks. , M.A. (Tourism and Hospitality Management)
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The potential for geotourism at the Kruger National Park for social sustainability
- Authors: Matshusa, Khodani
- Date: 2020
- Subjects: Geotourism - South Africa - Kruger National Park , Tourism - South Africa - Kruger National Park , Sustainable tourism , Community development - South Africa - Kruger National Park , Kruger National Park (South Africa)
- Language: English
- Type: Doctoral (Thesis)
- Identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/10210/456782 , uj:40477
- Description: Abstract: Despite the rich geological heritage encompassed within the Kruger National Park (KNP), the unemployment rate and poverty levels remain high for local communities abutting the northern part of the park. This study focused on the northern part of the KNP because no study has been conducted to identify and locate geoheritage sites and due to high unemployment rates and poverty levels in that area compared to the southern part of the park. The primary purpose of this research was to investigate and evaluate the potential for geotourism to contribute towards social sustainability and more effective local community development. Geotourism is an emerging re- search field and South Africa holds some fascinating geological heritage; however, geotourism has been under researched. Therefore, it was important to examine the potential for geotourism to effectively contribute towards local development. Consid- ering that the national government of South Africa through the National Development Plan (NDP) and National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) recognises tourism as one of the growth pillars for poverty alleviation and job creation, geotourism can contribute towards this as one of the potential solutions. Social sustainability and stakeholder framework theories linked to the concept of sustainable development allowed examination of geotourism and its potential contribution to local sustainable development in the context of this study. This study used a four phased mixed re- search methodology (qualitative and quantitative) to investigate the potential for geotourism development as a secondary market to supplement the current tourism market (wildlife viewing) and to examine the geotourism potentiality to assist in ad- dressing unemployment and poverty. The first phase was a database inventory development, field ranking, evaluation and prioritisation of geoheritage sites using six indicators (geotourism value, cultural value, ecological sensitivity, accessibility, development requirements, and currently available academic literature) of 15 potential geoheritage sites. The collected field data was converted into Microsoft word and excel documents for analysis. Further- more, excel data with geographic information and values of the six indicators of 15 geoheritage sites was imported into GIS software in order to produce evaluation and prioritisation maps... , Ph.D. (Tourism and Hospitality)
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