Table 3. A comparison between the beliefs of local experts (n = 11) and local generalists (n = 40) about the causes of land-cover change at Nqabara

Local experts (n = 11) Randomly selected
respondents (n = 40)
Significance
Number Proportion Number Proportion
Forest sizes have increased over the past 30 years 11 1.00 40 1.00 NS
Fire affects plant species on forest margins 11 1.00 30 0.75 *
Fire affects plant species in grasslands 11 1.00 33 0.83 NS
Forest interiors have changed over the past 30 years 9 0.82 10 0.25 **
Forest size is affected by cultivation 5 0.45 30 0.75 *
Forest size is affected by shifting homesteads 5 0.45 0 0.00 **
Forest size is affected by fire 6 0.55 1 0.03 **
Forest size is affected by useless, invasive plants 7 0.64 0 0.00 **
Forest size is naturally expanding 4 0.36 0 0.00 **
Forest size is affected by people’s use of building materials 1 0.09 0 0.00 **
Fire reduces grazing 0 0.00 29 0.73 **
Fire improves grazing 11 1.00 1 .03 **
Absence of fire causes grass to increase 0 0.00 25 0.63 **

NS not significant; * P < 0.05; ** P < 0.01