The march of the woody plants! Although deforestation has been quantified and talked about in the media a lot, there is another trend taking place on the quiet outside of forests. Woody shrubs and trees have been increasing over Africa according to a new study conducted by ZSV consultant Zander Venter. Woody plant encroachment can have serious negative consequences for rural and commercial rangeland managers. Trees take up space that grasses would occupy and grasses are the most important forage resource for livestock. Trees can also drink large amounts of water from the ground and affect local hydrological cycles. This woody plant encroachment inspector web app gives striking examples of woody plant encroachment in South Africa using fixed-point photographs from the rePhotoSA database.
Play around with the app here: Woody plant encroachment inspector