PCU Publications

2016 - 2020

(i) Book

  1. Rohde R and O’Connell S 2016. Hanging on a Wire: Photographs by Sophia Klaase. Fourthwall Books. ISBN 978-0-9922404-3-1. (Radio interview:


(ii) Journal articles

  1. Arena G, van der Merwe H, Todd SW, Pauw MJ, Milton SJ, Dean WRJ, Henschel JR 2018. Reflections, applications and future directions of Long-Term Ecological Research at Tierberg. African Journal of Range & Forage Science 35: 257-265.
  2. Balvanera P, Calderon-Contreras R, Castro AJ, Felipe-Lucia MR, Geijzendorffer IR, Jacobs S, Martin-Lopez B, Arbieu U, Speranza CI, Locatelli B, Harguindeguy NP, Mercado IR, Spierenburg MJ, Vallet A, Lynes L and Gillson L 2017. Interconnected place-based social–ecological research can inform global sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 29:1–7.
  3. Bell W, Hoffman MT and Visser V 2021. Regional land degradation assessment for dryland environments: The Namaqualand Hardeveld bioregion of the Succulent Karoo biome as a case study. Land Degradation & Development 32: 2287-2302.
  4. Bourne A, Holness S, Holden P, Scorgie S, Donatti CI and Midgley G 2016. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level. PLoS ONE 11(5): e0155235.
  5. Breman E, Ekblom A, Gillson L and Norström E 2019. Phytolith-based environmental reconstruction from an altitudinal gradient in Mpumalanga, South Africa, 10,600 BP–present. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 263:104-116.
  6. Cardoso AW, Midgley JJ, Hoffman MT and Geldenhuys CJ 2017. Temperate forest dynamics and carbon storage: a 26-year case study from Orange Kloof Forest, Cape Peninsula, South Africa.  Southern Forests: A Journal of Forest Science 79:1-7.  
  7. Carrick PJ and Forsythe KJ 2020. The species composition-ecosystem function relationship: A global meta-analysis using data from intact and recovering ecosystems. PLoS ONE 15(7): e0236550.
  8. Chin A, Gillson L, Quiring SM, Nelson DR, Taylor MP, Vanacker V and Lovegrove D 2016. An evolving Anthropocene for science and society Anthropocene 13:1-3.
  9. Chin A, Cui X, Gillson L, Nelson D, Taylor MP, VAnacker V, Wang E 2020. Anthropocene in an age of pandemics. Anthropocene 30: 100247.  [Editorial]
  10. Cramer MD, Power SC, Belev A, Gillson L, Bond WJ, Hoffman MT, Hedin L 2018. Are forest-shrubland mosaics of the Cape Floristic Region an example of alternate stable states? Ecography 42:1-13.    
  11. Cronin K, Kaplan H, Gaertner M, Irlich U and Hoffman MT 2017. Aliens in the nursery: Assessing the attitudes of nursery managers to invasive species regulations.  Biological Invasions 19(3): 925–937.
  12. Dabengwa AN, Gillson L, Bond WJ 2021. Resilience modes of an ancient valley grassland in South Africa indicated by palaeoenvironmental methods. Environmental Research Letters.
  13. Davis C, Hoffman MT and Roberts W 2017. Long-term trends in vegetation phenology over Namaqualand using GIMMS AVHRR NDVI3g dataset from 1982-2011. South African Journal of Botany 111: 76-85.
  14. Davis C, Hoffman MT and Roberts W 2016. Recent trends in the climate of Namaqualand, a megadiverse arid region of South Africa.  South African Journal of Science 112(3/4), Art. 2015-0217, 9 pages.
  15. Diamond R and Jack S 2018. Evaporation and abstraction determined from stable isotopes during normal flow on the Gariep River, South Africa. Journal of Hydrology 559, 569-584.
  16. Djukic I, Kepfer-Rojas S, Schmidt IK, Larsen KS, Beier C, Berg B, Verheyen K, Arena G et al. 2018. Early stage litter decomposition across biomes. Science of the Total Environment 626: 1-26.
  17. Ekblom A, Gillson L and Notelid M 2017. Water Flow, Ecological Dynamics and Management in The Lower Limpopo Valley: A Long-Term View. WIREs Water
  18. Ekblom A, Shoemaker A, Gillson L, Lane P and Lindholm K-J 2019. Conservation through biocultural heritage – examples from sub-saharan Africa. Land 8(1): 5.
  19. Fleury G, Hoffman MT, Todd SW 2021. Land reform and its impact on the arid South African environment: Riemvasmaak as a case study. African Journal of Range and Forage Science 38(2): 157-168.
  20. Forbes CJ, Gillson L and Hoffman MT 2018. Shifting baselines in a changing world: identifying management targets in endangered heathlands of the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Anthropocene 22, 81-93.
  21. Gillson L and Ekblom A 2020. Using palaeoecology to explore the resilience of southern African savannas. Koedoe 62(1) a1576.
  22. Gillson L, Biggs H, Smit IP, Virah-Sawmy M and Rogers K 2019. Finding common ground between adaptive management and evidence-based approaches to biodiversity conservation. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 34: 31-34.
  23. Gillson L, MacPherson J and Hoffman MT 2020. Contrasting mechanisms of resilience at semi-arid and temperate boundaries of fynbos, a mega-diverse heathland of South Africa. Ecological Complexity 42: Article Number: 100827.   
  24. Gillson L, Seymour CL, Slingsby JA and Inouye DW 2020. What are the Grand Challenges for Plant Conservation in the 21st Century? Frontiers in Conservation Science 1: Article 600943.
  25. Gillson L, Whitlock C and Humphrey G 2019. Resilience and fire management in the Anthropocene. Ecology and Society 24(3): 14.
  26. Haimbili EN, Shiponeni N and Carrick PJ 2016. Testing the Suitability of Mined Soils for Native Species Establishment at Navachab Gold Mine, Namibia. Academic Journal of Science 6: 319–344.
  27. Henschel JR, Hoffman MT, Walker C 2018. Introduction to the Karoo Special Issue: Trajectories of change in the Anthropocene. African Journal of Range & Forage Science 35: 151-156.
  28. Hirsch H, Gallien L, Impson FAC, Kleinjan C, Richardson DM, Le Roux JJ 2017. Unresolved native range taxonomy complicates inferences in invasion ecology: Acacia dealbata Link as an example. Biological Invasions 1-8.
  29. Hirsch H, Richardson DM, Impson FAC, Kleinjan C and Le Roux JJ 2018. Historical range contraction, and not taxonomy, explains the contemporary genetic structure of the Australian tree Acacia dealbata Link. Tree Genetics & Genomes 14:49.
  30. Hoffman MT, Cowling RM, Petersen H and Walker C 2021. Karoo research update: Progress, gaps and threats. South African Journal of Science 117(1/2): Article #8695. [Viewpoint article]
  31. Hoffman MT, Rohde RF, Gillson L 2019. Rethinking catastrophe? Historical trajectories and modelled future vegetation change in southern African. Anthropocene 25: 100189.
  32. Hoffman MT, Rohde RF, Gillson L 2020. Further comments on analysing trajectories of vegetation and landscape change in southern Africa from historical field photographs. Anthropocene 32: 100274.
  33. Hoffman MT, Skowno A, Bell W & Mashele S 2018. Long-term changes in land use, land cover & vegetation in the Karoo drylands of South Africa: Implications for degradation monitoring. African Journal of Range & Forage Science 35: 209-221.
  34. Hoffman MT, Walker C, Henschel JR 2018. Reflections on the Karoo Special Issue: Towards an interdisciplinary research agenda for South Africa’s drylands. African Journal of Range & Forage Science 35: 387-393.
  35. Holden PB and Smit J 2019. Accuracy of automatic aerial triangulation with bundle block adjustment on large historical image blocks in mountainous terrain. South African Journal of Geomatics 8(1): 12-29.
  36. Holden PB, Ziervogel G, Hoffman MT, New MG 2021. From subsistence grazing to nature-based recreation: Land use transition in a mountain global biodiversity hotspot. Land Use Policy 105 105429.
  37. Hulbert JM, Turner SC and Scott SL 2019. Challenges and solutions to establishing citizen science projects in South Africa. South African Journal of Science 115(7/8): Art. #5844, 4 pages.
  38. Humphrey GJ, Gillson L and Ziervogel G 2020. How changing fire management policies affect fire seasonality and livelihoods. Ambio 50: 475-491.
  39. Hyvärinen O, Hoffman MT, Reynolds C 2019. Vegetation dynamics in the face of a major land use change: A 30-year case study from South Africa. African Journal of Range and Forage Science 36(3): 141-150.
  40. Jack SL, Hoffman MT, Rohde RF and Durbach I 2016. Climate change sentinel or false prophet? The case of Aloe dichotoma. Diversity and Distributions 22: 745-757. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12438.
  41. James JJ and Carrick PJ 2016. Toward quantitative dryland restoration models. Restoration Ecology 24: 85–90. DOI:
  42. Jerardino A, Navarro R, Orton J, Button R, Halkett D, Webley L, Tusenius, Hoffman T and February E 2018. Late Holocene climatic and cultural variability at a focal point of settlement near Lamberts Bay, South Africa: test excavations at Soutpansklipheuwel. South African Archaeological Bulletin 73(207): 13-34.
  43. Joubert DF, Rust, A, Smith GN and Hoffman MT 2017. Growth rates and mortality patterns of Acacia mellifera, in the semi-arid Highland Svanna, Namibia: Encroachment is not as rapid as previously believed. Namibian Journal of Environment. 1, Section A: 1-5.
  44. Kranabetter JM, McLauchlan KK, Enders SK, Fraterrigo JM, Higuera PE, Morris JL, Rastetter EB, Barnes R, Buma B, Gavin DG, Gerhart LM, Gillson L, Hietz P, Mack MC, McNeil B and Perakis S 2016. A framework to assess biogeochemical response to ecosystem disturbance using nutrient partitioning ratios. Ecosystems 19:387-395. DOI:
  45. Liebenberg L, //Ao A, Shermer M, Biesele M, Xhukwe U, Carruthers P,  //xao D,  Lombard M,  Kxao O,  Hansson SO,  Langwane H,  Elbroch M, /Ui N,  Keeping D, Humphrey G, Newman G, G/aq'o U,  Steventon J, Kashe N, Stevenson R, Benadie K, du Plessis P, Minye J, /Kxunta U, Ludwig B, Daqm O, Louw M, Debe D and Voysey M 2021. Tracking Science: An alternative for those excluded by citizen science. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice 6(1): 1-16.
  46. MacPherson AJ, Gillson L and Hoffman MT 2018. Climatic buffering and anthropogenic degradation of a Mediterranean-type shrubland refugium at its semi-arid boundary, South Africa. The Holocene 28(4): 651–666.
  47. MacPherson J, Gillson L, Hoffman MT. 2019. Between- and within-biome resistance and resilience at the fynbos-forest ecotone, South Africa. The Holocene 29(11): 1801-1816.
  48. Manzano S, Julier ACM, Dirk-Forbes CJ, Razafimanantsoa AHI, Samuels I, Petersen H, Gell P, Hoffman MT, Gillson L. 2020 Using the past to manage the future: the role of palaeoecological and long-term data in ecological restoration. Restoration Ecology 28(6): 1335-1342.
  49. Manzano S and Julier ACM 2021. How FAIR are plant sciences in the twenty-first century? The pressing need for reproducibility in plant ecology and evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 288: 20202597. [Published online on 10 Feb 2021.]
  50. Marchante H, López-Nunez FA, Freitas H, Hoffmann JH, Impson FAC and Marchante E 2017. First report of the establishment of the biocontrol agent Trichilogaster acaciaelongifoliae for control of invasive Acacia longifolia in Portugal. EPPO Bulletin 0, 1-5. ISSN 0250-8052. doi:  
  51. Marchant R, Richer S, Boles O, Capitani C, Courtney-Mustaphi C, Widgren M, Schrijver AP and others including Gillson L 2018. Drivers and trajectories of land cover change in East Africa: Human and environmental interactions from 6000 years ago to present. Earth-Science Reviews, 178, 322-378.
  52. Mayence CE, Carrick PJ, van Beem D, Broenland E and Dixon KW 2017. Seed dormancy, soil type and protective shelters influence seedling emergence at Shark Bay, Western Australia: insight for global dryland revegetation. Ecological Management & Restoration 18:156-163.
  53. McAuliffe J, McFadden LD and Hoffman MT 2018. Role of aeolian dust in shaping landscapes and soils of arid and semi-arid South Africa.  Geosciences 8: 171.
  54. McAuliffe, JR, Hoffman MT, McFadden LD, Bell W, Jack S, King MP and Nixon V 2019. Landscape patterning created by the southern harvester termite, Microhodotermes viator: Spatial dispersion of colonies and alterations of soils. Journal of Arid Environments 162: 26-34.
  55. McAuliffe JR, Hoffman MT, McFadden LD, Jack S, Bell W and King MP 2019. Whether or not heuweltjies: Context-dependent ecosystem engineering by the southern harvester termite, Microhodotermes viator. Journal of Arid Environments 163: 26-33.
  56. Moore A, Flügel T, Hutton-Squire T, Hutton-Squire M, Humphrey G 2016. Size distribution of Baobabs on Kubu “Island”, Sowa Pan (northern Botswana): an indicator of late-stage evolution of the Makgadikgadi palaeo-lake and climate change? South African Journal of Geology 119:3, 535-544. 2113/gssajg.119.3.535
  57. Nenzhelele E, Todd SW & Hoffman MT 2018. Long-term impacts of livestock grazing in the Succulent Karoo: A 20-year study of vegetation change under different grazing regimes in Namaqualand. African Journal of Range & Forage Science 35: 277-287.
  58. Okubamichael DY, Griffiths ME and Ward D 2016. Host specificity in parasitic plants – perspectives from mistletoes. AoB Plants 8:plw069. DOI:
  59. Okubamichael DY, Jack SL, de wet Bosenberg J, Hoffman MT and Donaldson JS 2016. Repeat photography confirms alarming decline in South African cycads.  Biodiversity and Conservation 25(11): 2153-2170.
  60. Petersen H, Jack SL, Hoffman MT and Todd SW 2020. Patterns of plant species richness and growth form diversity in critical habitats of the Nama-Karoo biome, South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 135: 201-211. DOI: 10.1016/j.sajb.2020.08.028.
  61. Ramos-Román, MJ, Jiménex-Moreno G, Anderson RS, García-Alix A, Camuera J, Mesa-Fernándex JM and Manzano S 2019. Climate controlled historic olive occurrences and olive oil production in southern Spain. Global and Planetary Change 192: 102996.
  62. Razanatsoa, E., Andriantsaralaza, S., Holmes, S.M., Rakotonarivo, O.S., Randriamiharisoa, L., Ratsifandrihamanana, A.N., Ravaloharimanitra, M., Tahirinirainy, D., Ramahefamanana, N 2021. Fostering local involvement for biodiversity conservation in tropical regions: lessons from Madagascar during the COVID-19 pandemic. Biotropica.  (In press).
  63. Razanatsoa E., Virah-Sawmy M., Woodborne S., Callanan C., and Gillson L 2021. Subsistence strategies adaptation of the Mikea foragers from Southwest Madagascar in the face of climate change. Malagasy Nature.   (In press).
  64. Razanatsoa E., Virah-Sawmy M., Woodborne S., and Gillson L 2021. Palaeoecological record of the 14th and 20th century AD from Lake Tsizavatsy in the tropical dry forest of southwest Madagascar. Palaeoecology of Africa.  (In press).
  65. Julier, A., Manzano, S., Razanatsoa, E., Razafimanantsoa, A.H.I., Githumbi, E., Hawthorne, D., Oden, G., Schüler, L., Tossou, M., Bunting, M. J 2021. Modern pollen studies from tropical Africa and their use in palaeoecology. Palaeoecology of Africa.  (In press).
  66. Rohde RF, Hoffman MT, Durbach I, Venter Z and Jack S 2019. Vegetation and climate change in the Pro-Namib and Namib Desert based on repeat photography: insights into climate trends. Journal of Arid Environments 165: 119-131.
  67. Rule NF and Hoffmann JH 2018. The performance of Dactylopius opuntiae as a biological control agent on two invasive Opuntia cactus species in South Africa. Biological Control 119: 7-11.
  68. Samuels I, Allsopp N & Hoffman MT 2019. Traditional mobile pastoralism in a contemporary environment: herd mobility in a spatially-constrained, semi-arid rangeland in Namaqualand, South Africa. Rangeland Ecology & Management 72: 195-203.
  69.  Samuels MI, Allsopp N and Hoffman MT 2021. Changes in pastoral mobility in a semi-arid montane region of South Africa: The role of policy and legislation. African Journal of Range & Forage Science. [Published online 8 Feb 2021].
  70. Schwarzländer M, Moran VC and Raghu S 2018. Constraints in weed biological control: contrasting responses by implementing nations. Biocontrol 63: 313-317.
  71. Scott SL, Rohde RF and Hoffman MT 2018. Repeat Landscape Photography, Historical Ecology and the Wonder of Digital Archives in Southern Africa. African Research and Documentation 131: 35-47.
  72. Seymour CL, Gillson L, Child MF, Tolley KA, Curie JC, da Silva JM, Alexander GJ, Anderson P, Downs CT, Egoh BN and Smith DA 2019. Horizon scanning for South African biodiversity: A need for social engagement as well as science. Ambio 49(6): 1211-1221.
  73. Shackleton CM, Mograbi PJ, Drimie S, Fay D, Hebinck P, Hoffman MT, Maciejewski K and Twine W 2019. The deactivation of field cultivation in communal areas of South Africa: Patterns, drivers and socio-economic and ecological consequences. Land Use Policy 82: 686-699.
  74. Tokura W, Matimele H, Smit J & Hoffman MT 2020. Long-term changes in forest cover in a global biodiversity hotspot in southern Mozambique. Bothalia 50(1), a1.
  75. Tokura W, Jack SL, Anderson T and Hoffman MT 2018. Long-term variability in vegetation productivity in relation to rainfall, herbivory and fire in Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. Koedoe: African Protected Area Conservation and Science 60(1) a1473. DOI:
  76. van Blerk J, West AG, Altwegg R, Hoffman MT. 2021. Post-fire summer rainfall differentially affects reseeder and resprouter population recovery in fire-prone shrublands of South Africa. Science of the Total Environment. (In press).
  77. van Blerk J, West AG, Altwegg R, Hoffman MT 2021. Does a trade-off between growth plasticity and resource conservatism mediate post-fire shrubland response to rainfall seasonality? New Phytologist 230: 1407-1420.
  78. Van der Merwe H, Van Rooyen N, Bezuidenhout H, Bothma J du P & Van Rooyen MW 2020. Woody vegetation change over more than 30 years in the interior duneveld of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. Bothalia 50(1), a2.
  79. Van der Merwe H 2020. Vegetation of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), South Africa: A baseline to measure local and global change. South African Journal of Botany 132: 22-29.
  80. Van der Merwe H, du Toit JCO, van den Berg L & O’Connor TG 2018. Impact of sheep grazing intensity on vegetation at the Arid Karoo Stocking Rate Trial after 27 Years, Carnarvon, South Africa. Journal of Arid Environments 155: 36-45. DOI:
  81. Van der Merwe H and Geldenhuys C 2017. Proposed long-term monitoring protocol and applications for Aloidendron dichotomum populations. South African Journal of Botany 109: 253-262. DOI:
  82. Van der Merwe H and Hoffman MT 2019. Vegetation of Akkerendam Nature Reserve, Northern Cape: Delineation & dynamics over 100 years. Bothalia – African Biodiversity & Conservation 49(1), a2401.
  83. Van der Merwe H and Milton SJ 2019. Growth in three Karoo shrub species under various grazing treatments: the tracking of marked individuals over 25 years. African Journal of Range & Forage Science 36(1): 61-66. DOI:
  84. van der Merwe H and Milton SJ 2019. Testing the Wiegand-Milton model: A long-term experiment to understand the mechanisms driving vegetation dynamics in arid shrublands.  Austral Ecology 44: 49-59.
  85. van der Merwe H, Rahlao SJ, Hein L & Milton SJ 2016. Vegetation dynamics after experimental fire disturbance in arid Succulent Karoo, South Africa. African Journal of Range and Forage Science 33(2): 131-135.
  86. van der Merwe H, van Rooyen N, Bezuidenhout H, Bothma J du P and van Rooyen MW 2019. Vachellia erioloba dynamics over 38 years in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, South Africa. Koedoe 61(1): a1534.
  87. van Rooyen MW, le Roux A, van der Merwe H, van Rooyen N and Geldenhuys C 2018. Long-term vegetation (>20 yrs) change in the plains habitat on the Goegap Nature Reserve, Succulent Karoo, South Africa. African Journal of Range and Forage Science 35(3&4): 289–302.
  88. van Wilgen BW, Carruthers J, Cowling RM, Esler KJ, Forsyth AT, Gaertner M, Hoffman MT, Kruger FJ, Midgley GF, Palmer G, Pence G, Raimondo DC, Richardson DM, van Wilgen J and Wilson JRU 2016.  Ecological research and conservation management in the Cape Floristic Region between 1945 and 2015: History, current understanding and future challenges.  South African Journal of Science 71:3, 207-303.
  89. Venter ZS, Scott SL, Strauss J, Jacobs K and Hawkins HJ 2017. Increasing crop diversity increased soil microbial activity, nitrogen-sourcing and crop nitrogen, but not soil microbial diversity. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 1-8. DOI:
  90. Venter Z, Scott SL, Desmet PG, Hoffman MT 2020. Application of Landsat-derived vegetation trends over South Africa: Potential for monitoring land degradation and restoration. Ecological Indicators 113: 106206. 
  91. Virah-Sawmy M, Gillson L, Gardner CJ, Anderson A, Clark G and Haberle S 2016. A landscape vulnerability framework for identifying integrated conservation and adaptation pathways to climate change: the case of Madagascar’s spiny forest. Landscape Ecology 31:637-654.
  92. White JDM, Jack SL, Hoffman MT, Puttick J, Bonora D and February EC 2016. Collapse of an iconic conifer: Long-term changes in the demography of Widdringtonia cedarbergensis using repeat photography.  BMC Ecology 16:53.


(iii) Book chapters

  1. Hoffman MT 2018. Land use, land cover and vegetation change in southern Africa. In: (Eds) Holmes PJ and Boardman J. Southern African landscapes and environmental change. Routledge, Oxon & New York. Pp. 91-111. ISBN 978 1 138 68895 7 (hbk).
  2. Rohde RF 2017. Scenes from Namaqualand – an introduction. In: Easton K and Attridge D (Eds.) Zoe Wicomb and the translocal – writing Scotland and South Africa. London: Routledge, pp 166-177.
  3. Todd SW, Hoffman MT, Henschel JR, Cardoso AW, Brooks M and Underhill LG 2016. The potential impacts of fracking on biodiversity of the Karoo Basin, South Africa. In: (Eds) Glazewski J and Esterhuyse S. Hydraulic Fracturing in the Karoo: Critical Legal and Environmental Perspectives. Juta and Company (PTY) LTD. ISBN: 978-1-48-511818-3.
  4. Wilson JR, Foxcroft LC, Geerts S, Hoffman MT, MacFadyen S, Measey J, Mills A, Richardson DM, Robertson MP and van Wilgen BW 2020. The role of environmental factors in promoting and limiting biological invasions in South Africa. In: B.W. van Wilgen et al. (eds.), Biological Invasions in South Africa. Invading Nature – Springer Series in Invasion Ecology 14. ISBN 978-3-030-32394-3 (eBook)