Central Africa - Vegetation map (1987-1993)

The TREES vegetation map of Central Africa at 1.1 km spatial resolution covers the following six countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). The map is focused on the Guineo-Congolian domain. A less detailed stratification is provided in the other ecological domains. The TREES map is based on the analysis of low resolution satellite data from the NOAA-AVHRR sensor.

The map is a combination of classifications derived from two NOAA's satellite data sets: from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) 1km data for the Guineo-Congolian forest domain (middle of the dry season 1992-1993) and from AVHRR Global Area Coverage (GAC) 5 km data for the non-forest domain (daily images from 1987 to 1991). The 1km analysis is limited for Cameroon to 6°N and for Congo-Kinshasa to 6°S.

This map provides the best information available at a regional level, i.e. 1 km resolution when possible and 5 km resolution in the other cases. The 1km AVHRR data allows mapping of the tropical forests (evergreen, semi-deciduous and secondary), while 5km AVHRR GAC data provides information about the seasonality of the non-forest vegetation classes. For example, the forest-savanna border is mapped at 1km resolution, but the distinction between the woodland and tree savanna in the northern and southern hemispheres is derived from GAC imagery. For the Zambezian savannas, the rainy season lasts from November/December until March/April, while it is the contrary for the northern hemisphere.

Vegetation Map of Central Africa

For more information on this topic, or for ordering a paper version of the map, please contact Philippe Mayaux

Key Publications

Vegetation Map of Central Africa, Scale 1/5M Mayaux P., Janodet E., Blair-Myers C. M. & P. Janvier, 1997. TREES Publications Series D, N°1, EUR 17322, European Commission, Luxembourg.

A vegetation map of Central Africa derived from satellite imagery, Mayaux P., Richards T. & E. Janodet, 1999. Journal of Biogeography, 26: 353-366.