Vachellia karroo is a useful and widespread tree in Africa. It belongs to the family Fabaceae, which is the third largest woody plant family in southern Africa. This is an ecologically and economically important species as almost all of its parts, including bark, pods, seeds, leaves and thorns, are extremely useful to both humans and animals. Various commercial products are also obtained from the tree, and gum is one of the most important products. V. karroo in South Africa has an extensive distribution range that includes several biomes. It is very adaptable and has wide habitat tolerance, growing under many differing conditions of soil, climate, and altitude. Although it is often associated with heavy, clayey soils on the banks of rivers and streams, it also grows in bushveld, dry thornveld, grassland and woodland. V. karroo is easy to grow and as a result can become an aggressive invader of valuable farming land and grazing areas, a phenomenon usually referred to as bush encroachment. An analysis of historic data comprising 1553 relevés and 2006 species, compiled from all areas of South Africa where V. karroo is known to occur was conducted, and TWINSPAN classification produced five main vegetation types.
Part of the book: Pure and Applied Biogeography