Farai Tererai

Research interests

I am an ecohydrologist. My previous research has been in hydrology, especially the interaction between climate change, landcover, landuse, anthropogenic activities, and surface water resources. With the start of my PhD at Stellenbosch University, my interests broadened to encompass riparian plant ecology. This accords with paradigm shifts in science from treating rivers as single entities to viewing and studying them as part of a greater ecosystem, an ecosystem we impact on daily, and have an active role in understanding, protecting and restoring. I also have a strong interest in the applications of GIS and Remote Sensing to modelling ecology and hydrology, and their interface.

Eucalyptus camaldulensis

E. camaldulensis

Eucalyptus paniculata

E. paniculata

Eucalyptus cladocalyx

E. cladocalyx

Current research

Berg River invasion

Invasion in Berg River

My PhD aims to examine the effects of invasive Eucalyptus species on resident vegetation communities in riparian zones. Specifically, I endeavour to establish the effects of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. (river red gum) invasions in riparian zones on (1) riparian geomorphology; (2) above-ground native vegetation; (3) native vegetation soil seed bank and (4) soil physicochemical characteristics. Riparian zones are very important landscape elements characterised by high plant species diversity and serve and/or influence several ecosystem functions and services, and yet are highly prone to invasion by exotic plants. Natural and anthropogenic disturbances associated with riparian zones provide opportunities for proliferation of invasive alien plants (IAP), impacting the riparian environment, thereby threatening ecosystem services. Eucalyptus camaldulensis favours areas of deposition along watercourses, and was identified and ranked among major environmental weeds in the Western Cape, South Africa; and yet the nature of the impacts and implications for management and restoration are poorly understood.