A dense or widespread stand of robust Euryops lateriflorus shrubs may indicate a period of hardship for the land it grows on. Drought followed by floods and erosion, trampling of stressed vegetation by the feet of too many livestock and game seeking fodder, or this happening for too long periods, cause certain plants to proliferate, others to disappear.
There are also plant species that indicate well-managed or thriving veld where the soil is in “good” condition. Concepts of good and bad in veld management relate to purpose: if livestock is to be fed on a long-term basis, good means all that facilitates that outcome; bad is poor veld in terms of low grazer or browser carrying capacity.
Nature without the benefit of human intervention farms differently! It functions freely or constrained, depending on how one interprets prevailing conditions. A unique species mix ensues wherever it gets a foothold for any plant to germinate. Distinctive development unfolds from the trials and tribulations in each localised microcosm, dealt by climatic conditions and constrained by soil type, available seed and more factors.
Collectively across all its micro-ecologies nature achieves massive overall diversity in being the life on earth… and maybe elsewhere (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010).
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