Masego Kruger-Gaadingwe                                                                                           



                 Room 05-008, Biological and Conservation

                 Science Building, Westville Campus 

                       Tel:  +27 31 2608657

                       Fax: +27 31 2601195



Current Phd : The effect of air borne emissions from a copper nickel smelter on seed quality and regeneration of selected indigenous species

Details of Current Research

In southern Africa, mining activities are one of the main sources of air pollution (Tienhoven et al, 2000). Air pollutants from smelters have indirectly and in some cases directly caused detrimental effects on plants and ecosystems as a whole. In Selibe Phikwe, Botswana, there have been reports of the persistence of vegetation only in small patches with little or no ground cover. Population reduction of an important utilitarian species, Colophospermum mopane has also been reported (Ramatoboro and Hagger, 2001). Although research has indicated that soil and C. mopane leaves in proximity to the smelter are contaminated with trace elements associated with the mining activities, studies determining if aspects of plant reproduction such as sed quality, germination and establishment are being impacted upon are lacking (Kruger et al, 2004, Ekosse et al, 2005). By using a multifaceted approach, comprising of vegetation surveys, trace elements analysis, germination studies and seed characteristics, the impact of the emissions on the regeneration and ultimately the persistence of C. mopane and another utilitarian species, Ximenia americana will be determined.  


Ekosse G.I, Ngila C and Forcheh N. 2005. Multivariate analysis of heavy metals in soils and Colophospermum mopane leaves around the Selibe Phikwe copper-nickel mine and smelter/concentrator plant area, Botswana. Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management. 9 (1): 177-185.

Kruger M., Masundire H., Jordaan A., Moseki B. 2004. The ecological impact of airborne smelter emissions: A case study of Bamangwato Concessions Limited (BCL), Botswana. MPhil. Thesis. Unpublished. University of Botswana. Gaborone.

Ramatoboro G. and Haggar M. 2001. Soil and vegetation analysis report. Bamangwato Concessions Limited. Selebi – Phikwe. Botswana.

Tienhoven A. M., Olbrich K. A. and Fameso T. F. 2000. Forestry problems in Africa. In: Innes J. L. and Haron A. H. (eds.). Air pollution and the forests of developing and rapidly industrialising regions. CABI International. New York, USA. Pp 79 – 99.



Kruger-Gaadingwe, M. 2007. Preliminary Results of the Propagation of some Indigenous Utilitarian Species at Veld Products Research and Development. Indigenous Plant Use Forum Conference Proceedings, pp. 40.


Kruger-Gaadingwe, M. 2007. Conservation and cultivation. Preliminary results of the propagation of some indigenous utilitarian species at Veld Products Research and Development. Landscape SA, 19. pp. 47.


Kruger, M. and Jordaan, A. 2003. The effect of airborne smelter emissions on epidermal features of Boscia albitrunca and Colophospermum mopane. Proceedings of Microscopy Society of Southern Africa, 33, pp. 59.

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