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A REFINED CLASSIFICATION OF THE PRIMARY VEGETATION OF MADAGASCAR BASED ON THE UNDERLYING GEOLOGY: USING GIS TO MAP ITS DISTRIBUTION AND TO ASSESS ITS CONSERVATION STATUS.

Please refer this paper as:

Du Puy, D.J. and Moat, J. (1996). A refined classification of the primary vegetation of Madagascar based on the underlying geology: using GIS to map its distribution and to assess its conservation status. In W.R. Lourenço (editor). Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Biogeography of Madagascar, pp. 205--218, + 3 maps. Editions de l’ORSTOM, Paris.

KEY WORDS - Madagascar, Vegetation, GIS, Biodiversity, Conservation.

ABSTRACT

The map of vegetation domains drawn by HUMBERT (1955) and the more recent vegetation cover map of FARAMALALA (1988, 1995), produced from satellite images, are accepted as reflecting the broad vegetation zones of Madagascar. These maps have been superimposed on maps of the geology and protected areas, and analysed using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) techniques.

The species composition of the primary vegetation is very strongly influenced by the type of rock on which it occurs: the geology map (BESAIRIE, 1964) was therefore reclassified according to broad rock type categories which would markedly affect the composition of the vegetation which they support. A map of the current distribution of the ‘Remaining Primary Vegetation’ is compared with the ‘Simplified Geology’ map, and the resulting map of the ‘Remaining Primary Vegetation classified by the Underlying Geology’ is presented.

Estimates are made of the extent remaining of each broad primary vegetation type. Comparison with a map of the protected areas has allowed the production of graphs and statistics showing which vegetation types are well represented in the current system of Parks and Reserves, and those which are inadequately covered. These maps and analyses provide information to assist the planning and management of effective biodiversity conservation in Madagascar.
 
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