Atlas of the Vegetation of Madagascar
Authors: Justin Moat, Paul Smith. 124pp. 420 x 297mm. Hardback, ISBN 9781842461983, Kew Publishing 2007.
Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island, and is recognized as one of the world's top ten hotspots for biodiversity. It is estimated that there are about 10,000 plant species on the island. Of these, 80 % or more occur nowhere else. Man arrived in Madagascar just 2,000 years ago and since has cleared much of the island's forest. This impact and the uniqueness of its plants have made Madagascar of paramount importance to international conservation efforts.
This first vegetation atlas for Madagascar, supported by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, has combined vegetation data from fieldwork and satellite images into a map-based information system. The result is a conservation tool which will help Madagascar's government and people to plan a more sustainable future. This atlas is also of great use to anyone studying or visiting the island.
Presented in both French and English, the atlas gives a brief history of vegetation mapping in Madagascar; the methodology used in compiling these new maps; and detailed descriptions of each vegetation type, illustrated with photographs and diagrams. Trends in deforestation, extent of occurrence and levels of protection are assessed for each vegetation type. Additional information includes roads, trails, rivers, airports, reserves and a full place name index.
The atlas comprises 36 maps in A3 format, all in high resolution colour.
Atlas of the Vegetation of Madagascar is an outstanding achievement, both from a scientifi c and practical viewpoint, and all those involved with its successful completion are to be heartily congratulated. Graham Duncan
For 15 years Justin Moat has been employed at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew with the initial remit of setting up a GIS unit, which he currently heads. After completing his masters on mapping Madagascar's vegetation, he continues to take every opportunity to work on this unique island.
Paul Smith is an ecologist with practical experience in vegetation mapping, botanical inventory and survey, impact assessment, park management systems and ecotourism. He has a wide and detailed knowledge of the plants of southern, central and east Africa, and has twenty years experience working in Africa and Madagascar. Paul was Head of the Seed Conservation Department at Kew and leader of the Millennium Seed Bank Project.
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