Core study areas

The IDESSA decision-support system is developed in reference to four core study areas that encompass different savanna types and land use- and management systems (farmlands and game reserves) in South Africa.

From east to west, these include:

  1. Mesic savannas, transitions to woodlands and bush-encroached grasslands of KwaZulu-Natal province (Louwsburg area; mean annual precipitation (MAP) >700 mm).
  2. Semi-arid savannas in the Northern Cape province (Kimberley area; MAP 400 mm).
  3. Semi-arid savannas in the North-West province (Molopo area; MAP 300-500 mm).
  4. Arid savannas in the Northern Cape province (Mier area; MAP <300 mm).

Some study sites in the respective areas were equipped with a weather station (see map below) recording amount of rainfall, air temperature and humidity in a timely resolution of 5 minutes. In total, 15 weather stations were set up to complement station data provided by SASSCAL and the South African Weather Service.