Africa, the Devastated Continent?: Man’s impact on the by Antoon de Vos (auth.)

By Antoon de Vos (auth.)

Africa isn't referred to as one of many extra densely populated continents. but, the harmful marks of man's actions can be obvious there dramatically. a lot of Africa's ecological zones are fragile. huge scale soil erosion, resul­ tant cycles of drought and flash floods, downgrading of fauna and flowers are famous to many typically methods, in addition to from unique exam of some components. yet huge elements of Africa stay inaccessible. only a few scholars of Africa give you the option - or the tenacity - to shuttle over those significant parts or into the hidden corners that lie past the well known routes of Africa. As FAO's neighborhood flora and fauna and nationwide Parks Officer for Africa, ANTooN DE Vos had the possibility of vacationing extensively and learning and reporting at the acceleration of artificial adjustments in a lot of the continent. As an skilled practitioner of a huge and hard technological know-how, ecology, he has made an important specialist contribution with this publication. it's our desire that those that learn it is going to be inspired to carryon the $64000 paintings and the worry with this topic to which Dr. DE Vos has dedicated rather a lot of his wisdom, strength and private commitments.

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In the latter area monsoon influences are felt. VEGETATION According to the vegetation map of Africa this zone includes moist forest at low and medium altitudes, bordered to the north and south by forest savanna mosaic. The typical ecosystem of the Guinean zone is the tropical rain forest. Under natural conditions such a forest is a very stable ecosystem which would be dominant throughout the zone were it not for the influence of man. The Guinean vegetation exhibits rather significant variation.

Sorghum is usually grown but rice is also found. Above 400 mm of rainfall crops of pearl millet and also sorghum occur. The most important hazards and limitations to crop production include, in addition to the scarce and erratic rainfall, the Quelea bird and the locust which do extensive damage to crops. Where irrigation is possible it is practiced but usually with somewhat primitive methods. The opening up ofland for cereal culture marks the destruction of the last remaining marshy areas in this zone Photo 5.

This burnt-out and parched land in Niger once provided nomadic herdsmen with relatively decent pasturage. Photo: FAO. 46 47 48 which are now threatened by conversion into rice fields. Irrigation is widely practised and several irrigation projects under international and bi-Iateral assistance schemes have at least been partly successful in the production of more food and fodder. FOREST VEGETATION Tree cover occurs over most of the zone and trees increase in frequency as one approaches the Sudanian zone.

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