Submitted By SharonReichardt
We started our excursion up Table Mountain, where we stopped at the Rhodes Memorial. From Rhodes Memorial the urbanization of Cape Town and the effects of urbanization on the land is very much evident. The acid sand plain was evident as well as the Malmesbury shale and the vegetation associated with it.
It was clear that’s Rhodes Memorial itself was built from granite most likely situated in the area, the granite is situated along the table mountain and along Chapman’s Peak. The granite in some places had intruded through the surface and through this had also caused large amounts of pressure on the Malmesbury shale, causing it to become hardened and become more resistant, and so most landforms are then rigid in formation.
Some environmental constraints on Table Mountain associated with plants are the fact that the soil is very shallow on a steep gradient. The sandstone nutrition is very poor, shallow and is acidic. Fire are also frequent on the north facing slope due to more heat from direct sun rays. Although this is good for plants to photosynthesize, lots of moisture from the heat is lost and the area is effectively dry.
Another adaptation for most fynbos plants is the fact that they have sclerophyllous leaves which are hard, leathery leaves that enable them to reduce transpiration and therefore resist the dry and hot conditions of summer. Silver trees as well also have a similar adaptation, the silver trees have large numbers of fur which decrease the amount of evaporation that occurs during a hot day and this also gives them the silver color.
Due to the fact that there are fires and some environmental constraints the plants are forced to survive and adapt or die. Fynbos has adapted so that every time there is a fire, the plant relies on the fire to create fertile, nutrient rich soil but most importantly germinate its seeds and so they may regrow, this…...