Photographic Documentation of Vegetational Changes in Africa Over a Third of a Century
by H. L. Shantz and B. L. Turner, University of Arizona, College of Agriculture, vi + 158 pages, illustrated, paper back, University of Arizona and the office of Naval Research, Department of Navy, August 1958
This photographic documentation undertaken as a joint project between the College of Agriculture at the University of Arizona and the office of Naval Research, Department of the Navy, is unique in its scope and achievement. The dynamics of natural vegetation in the tropics have been little studied and yet they constitute the most essential ecological factor in the tropics.
The senior author on two successive trips from Cape to Cairo (1919–1920 and 1924) had gathered about 5.000 4 × 5 photographs, largely to illustrate the natural plant cover.
With this background it was proposed to rephotograph in 1956 and 1957 as many as would be practical of the original sites at approximately the same time of the year. The time interval of 33 to 37 years provided a broad picture of vegetational changes in dense forests and in open savannahs. Many sites had to be eliminated mainly because of intensive urban and agricultural developments.