By Henry N. Houérou
Protecting a space of over a hundred thirty million km2 spanning the Mediterranean, equator and tropics, the African continent encompasses a stunning geographic variety. hence, it truly is characterized through super variable climatic, edaphic and ecological stipulations, linked to quite a lot of traditional plants and natural world, in addition to human inhabitants density, plants and farm animals. during this publication, Henry Le Hou?rou provides his bioclimatic and biogeographic type of Africa. The large information give you the foundation for comparisons among quite a few African areas, and with areas on different continents reminiscent of Latin the USA or the Indian subcontinent. the consequences represent a rational foundation for nationwide, neighborhood and sub-regional rural improvement making plans, and for agricultural learn facing points akin to plant and animal introductions, the extrapolation or interpolation of experimental or developmental findings, and ecosystems dynamics. attainable difficulties of purposes also are tested.
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Extra info for Bioclimatology and Biogeography of Africa
D. pentzii & D. “umfolozi”) Echinochloa pyramidalis, greater bourgou Echinochloa stagnina, lesser bourgou Panicum maximum, Guinea grass Zea mays, maize, Indian corn Paspalum dilatatum, Dallis grass Paspalum notatum, Bahia grass Pennisetum clandestinum, Kikuyu grass Pennisetum purpureum, elephant grass Setaria anceps, golden timothy (incl. S. Sphacelatha & S. Splendida), foxtail grass Sorghum almum, Columbus grass Stenotaphron secundatum, St Augustine grass (incl. S. dimidiatum & S. americanum), Pemba grass Tripsacum laxum, Guatemala grass Selection of afforestation species for the hot tropics in function of rainy season length A.
5 Rainfall Gradients Mean annual rainfall is subject to altitudinal and latitudinal gradients, which in turn are strongly affected by local situations. Altitudinal lapse rate: as a general rule, one may expect a positive altitudinal gradient of 10 ± 5% for each increase of 100 m in elevation; in other words, rainfall doubles for an increase of elevation from 500 to 1,500 m up to a maximum, which again varies with local conditions, from 2,500 to 3,500 m and then decreases on higher mountains, in the Afro-alpine and Mediterranean-alpine zones (Le Houérou 1959a, 1969, 1984a, 1989a, 1995a, 2005a, b).
The latitudinal gradient is also strongly influenced by local geographic situations but, by and large, there is a decrease from a maximum rainfall under the equator (around 1,500–2,000 mm) to an absolute minimum of 0–200 mm under the tropics. Striking departures from this behaviour include the Somali-Ethiopian desert along the Red Sea shores, where rainfall is far less than the overall latitudinal lapse rate would imply. Along the Indian Ocean shores south of the equator, there is no 36 1 Introduction Fig.