Table 4. Summary of evidence from the literature and qualitative data showing the key drivers of vulnerability of the agroecosystem to changing weather patterns.

Diversity Connectivity Productivity
Vegetation Overgrazing and degradation on communal lands (Victor et al. 2005, Zanner et al. 2004).
Bush encroachment on communal lands (Victor et al. 2005).
Low dispersal and dominance of vegetative reproduction in native vegetation (Victor et al. 2005).
Cultivation, plantations, and mining has led to a loss of connectivity between vegetation patches (Mucina and Rutherford 2006).
Decreasing palatable grasses, wild foods, and traditional medicines (Victor et al. 2005).
Perceived shift away from local foods in diets (qualitative data).
Agriculture Mono-cropping at a commercial scale promoted by agricultural policy (Drimie et al. 2009).
Small scale supplementary farming dominated by maize (Drimie et al. 2009).
Heavy reliance on rainfed agriculture (Stronkhorts and Pretorius 2008; qualitative data), which is slow to recover from drought (Drimie et al. 2009).
Limited rural infrastructure (Gbetibouo et al. 2010; qualitative data).
Low crop production and reducing crop yields (Stronkhorts and Pretorius 2008) Inadequate rainfall limits yields (qualitative data).
Land management Overcrowding on communal land limits the scope for land reform (Greater Sekhukhune District Municipality 2005). Mining expansion changing land use in some areas (Aird and Archer 2004).
Private, state, and tribal (communal) land ownership leading to fragmented management (Tefera et al. 2004).
Most fertile land privately owned by commercial farmers limiting scope for small farmers (Greater Sekhukhune District Municipality 2005).