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     BIOTA Southern Africa Observatory Information Sheet:   Flaminkvlakte 111 (Goedehoop)

Below: Conophytum minutum ssp. pearsonii

 Observatory No.


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 Alternative name

Flaminkvlakte 111 (Goedehoop)


Van Rhynsdorp


 Main research

LAND USE CHANGE pair of 2 observatories


Ute Schmiedel


Pieters, Wynand

 Owner / Institution

Gerd van der Westhuizen

 Land tenure


 Precipitation per year


 Observatory (north-west-corner)





Altitude (m)






 Weather data

Daily averages up to this date available

The Biodiversity Observatory is situated in the central part of the Knersvlakte, the southern Namaqualand which forms the western Succulent Karoo Biome. The Knersvlakte is characterised by a gently undulated landscape, is underlain by shales, phyllites and limestones of the Nama Group and is streaked by numerous quartz veins. The quartz veins are weathering more slowly than the surrounding softer bedrock like shale or phyllites and the resulting quartz gravel is covering large parts of the area, forming distinct quartz field islands. More than 65 seed plant species are endemics to quartz fields in the Knersvlakte. They represent a unique flora and vegetation.

The long-term annual rainfall average of the closest weather station of the South African Weather Bureau in Vanrhynsdorp is 150 mm with maxima from May to September. However, own rainfall data for Flaminkvlakte Observatory shows that the average rainfall amount at Flaminkvlakte is about 20 % lower than in Vanrhynsdorp. Fog from the coastal Benguela Current and dew play an important role for additional water supply for flora and fauna. Mean annual temperature is about 19 °C, frost events are rare and light.

Most parts of the Observatory are characterised by quartz fields. The Observatory is dominated by leaf succulent dwarf shrubs and very rich in plant species among which leaf succulent Aizoaceae and Asteraceae species are most species rich.

The farm belongs to a commercial small stock farmer. The stocking intensity (mainly sheep) is low.

The main focus of research at this site are the phytodiversity patterns which are driven by small scale soil patterns as well as effects of climate change on biodiversity. Major research activities are presently conducted by botanists (seed plants and biological soil crusts) and soil scientist.

BIOTA Southern Africa
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