Looking in depth at agroforestry
Mapping Africa's vegetation
China takes stock of its land
A directory of forest history
Where in the world to find honey
Cataloguing protected areas in tropical America
A wealth of nuts
The future of the Paraguayan Chaco
Wood energy in Asia
Measuring African trees
Plant research and agroforestry. Peter A. Huxley, ed. Proceedings of a consultative meeting held in Nairobi, 8-15 April 1981. Nairobi, International Council for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF). 1983. 617 p.
"In agroforestry." writes Peter A. Huxley in the preface to this book. "the more complex plant associations, and the wide range of plant-environment interactions that are possible, make it essential that we understand how, and to what extent, the major growth and development processes will be modified by a change of species, climate, soil and management."
Plant research and agroforestry, which contains the proceedings of a meeting on this topic held in Nairobi, marks an effort to understand these "major growth and development processes". The result is an extensive collection of articles, 34 in all, ranging from the highly technical to the more general. The book is likely to become a standard reference for the specialist in the field - in part because of the considerable bibliographic material contained in the separate essays - but it can profitably be read selectively by the non-specialist as well.
Part 1, entitled "Plants and agroforestry: some examples", contains 12 articles, ranging from the highly regionalized (e.g., "An attempt to quantify some current agroforestry practices in Costa Rica", by G. Budowski) to the more generic (e.g., "The intercropping of grain legumes in agroforestry systems", by J.F. Redhead. J.E. Maghembe and B.J. Ndunguru). Part 2, "Understanding agroforestry systems'', contains 9 articles, including one by H.A. Steppler and J.B. Raintree which outlines the strategy adopted by ICRAF in relation to plant science research in agroforestry. Finally, part 3 brings together 13 different articles under the heading "Applications of plant science to agroforestry".
The volume also includes a list of participants, summary reports of the four working groups, an index of plant names and a subject index.
SUGAR CANE IN GABON a new map of Africa's vegetation
Vegetation map of Africa/The vegetation of Africa. Three map sheets and one sheet for general legend, plus descriptive memoir by Frank White. Natural Resources Research Series, no. 20. Paris. Unesco. 1983. 356 p.
This new map prepared by Unesco is presented with a 350-page descriptive companion text. Map and text are designed to serve both as a lasting reference and as a research and teaching tool in biology, geography and related environmental fields.
Made up of three sheets - northeastern, northwestern, and southern Africa - the map is drawn to a scale of 1:5000000. A legend in English and French to the 80 major vegetation types and mosaics depicted is included.
The vegetation map of Africa was compiled by the Association pour l'étude taxonomique de la flore de l'Afrique tropicale (AETFAT), in collaboration with Unesco and the United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office (UNSO).
Dr Frank White of the University of Oxford wrote the map's companion memoir, The vegetation of Africa. The volume's 22 chapters describe the vegetation of the main floristic regions of the African mainland as well as Madagascar and other offshore islands. Included are a bibliography of over 2400 items and an index of nearly 3500 plant species.
The preparation of the map with an accompanying memoir provides several valuable cross-reference advantages to the researcher, while preserving a unified, readable map presentation. The classification used for the vegetation map is based almost entirely on the physiognomy and floristic composition of the vegetation, while the text provides climatic maps for each of the major phytogeographic regions. Vegetation and climate are dealt with separately.
The two interconnecting and fully cross-referenced systems of classification can be used independently, or in tandem. In the legend the mapping units are grouped traditionally, according to physiognomy, while in the text they are grouped by the floristic regions in which they occur. The legend permits easy comparison of African vegetation with that of other continents, while the text deals effectively with complicated spatial and dynamic relationships.
The written account of African vegetation is introduced by brief chapters dealing with geology, climate, soils, animals, fire, and use and conservation. The vegetation of the main floristic regions is described individually. For each region, the salient features of the flora, geology and climate are described, and a black-and-white map is provided. These ancillary maps illustrate topographic features mentioned in the text and summarize the regional climate by means of climatic diagrams. For each of the main vegetation types, references to source materials and other important publications, published photographs and profile diagrams (if available), as well as major synonymy, are given.
The bibliography includes all works consulted during the compilation of the map and the writing of the descriptive memoir. The index gives the names of nearly 3500 plant species, together with their major synonyms. The index alone provides an introduction to ecological information on virtually all species playing an important part in African vegetation.
The map and book can be ordered from:
· Australia - Educational Supplies Pty. Ltd., Box 33 Post Office, Brookvale 2100, New South Wales (price Aus$60.00).
· Canada - Renouf Publishing Co., 2182 St. Catherine Street W., Montreal. Quebec H3H 1M7 (Can$95.00).
· United States - Unipub, 1180 Ave, of the Americas, New York, NY 10036 (US$92.00).
· United Kingdom - HMSO, P.O. Box 276. London SW8 5DT (£37.50).
CALIFORNIA LOGGING OLD-STYLE a directory of forest history museums
Land resources of the People's Republic of China. Kenneth Ruddle and Wu Chuanjun, eds. Resource Systems Theory and Methodology Series, no. 5. Tokyo, the United Nations University. 1983. 84 p. Numerous tables, maps, graphs, figures.
No complete, official land survey has yet been made for China's vast territory of 9.6 million km2, although one is now under way under the auspices of the Institute of Geography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The present volume marks a point of critical evaluation and reconsideration along the road to completion of this enormous task.
It contains nine papers presented by the Chinese participants at the international conference on Land Use Evaluation and Classification, with Special Emphasis on Wetlands, sponsored jointly by the United Nations University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences and held in Beijing and Heilongjiang Province from 15 to 25 September 1980. The book is organized into two sections, the first containing six articles on land-use evaluation and classification and the second comprising three papers on the wetlands of Heilongjiang Province in northeast China.
"In many ways", the authors write in a preface, "this book may be regarded as a measure of current geographical research in the People's Republic of China, since it embraces the main themes emphasized at present, namely agricultural regionalization, land evaluation and classification, and physical geography. It is significant, too, that a large percentage of the contemporary national research effort has been directed at incorporating marginally productive and geographically peripheral areas more fully into the national economy, a direction exemplified here in all nine chapters, but particularly those dealing with northeast China."
Currently only 14.6 percent of China's land area is being cultivated, while 40.8 percent is being grazed, 8.6 percent is under forests, 7.0 percent is used for industry and urban purposes, 6.6 percent is for "other uses" and much of the remaining 22.4 percent is either high, barren desert or under permanent snowfields. Thus, of a present total of 1.4 thousand million ha cultivated, only 32 million ha - 2.3 percent - has been ploughed under since 1949, despite a strong government effort to increase the agricultural land base. An additional 43 million ha of land may be suitable for reclamation and farming, but this is probably far less than is needed.
Faced with such a situation, government planners need to move carefully to maximize what limited resources are available. To do this requires a thorough knowledge of the land; hence the national land survey - and this book.
Forest history museums of the world. Compiled by Kathryn A. Fahl. Guides to Forest and Conservation History of North America, no. 6. Santa Cruz, California, Forest History Society. 1983. 75 p. Price: US$7.50.
A total of 314 museums in 33 different countries are included in this illustrated directory devoted to the world's forest history museums. A forest history museum is defined as one "devoted wholly or in major part to the representation of man's historic use of the forest and its many products". This definition allows, for example, the Black Forest Museum in Lossburg in the Federal Republic of Germany, a regional museum featuring peasant culture in general, to qualify for inclusion in the directory. Roughly half of the museums listed are solely devoted to forestry, while the rest are multi-purpose museums.
Entries are arranged alphabetically by country, state or province, and city. Each entry is accompanied by collection descriptions as well as useful additional information regarding tours, publications, library and archival holdings, and other facilities. We learn, for instance, that India's Assam Forest Museum in Gauhati is "a science and technology museum featuring specimens of timber, bamboos, canes, agarwood, and their products. Examples of ivory and lacquer works, cane and bamboo carving, and plywood and composite wood are shown. Other exhibits include a medicinal herb collection, displays of resin and turpentine production, photographs of forests, and various charts and maps".
It is clear from this book, that forest history museums: are primarily a phenomenon of industrialized countries, particularly in North America. Nearly half of the listings (150) come from the United States and there are 45 from Canada. Among developing countries, India, with nine forest history museums, is far and away the leader; following it are Brazil with four, Burma and Pakistan with two each, and Argentina, China and Uganda with one each. Among industrialized countries outside North America, the Federal Republic of Germany leads with 20, followed by Austria and Japan with nine, Finland and the German Democratic Republic with six and Czechoslovakia and France with five.
A WORKER ON THE PRODUCTION LINE honey and beeswax generate income
APICULTURE CENTRE IN TUNISIA established with FAO assistance
Directory of important world honey sources. Eva Crane, Penelope Walker and Rosemary Day. London, International Bee Research Association (IBRA). 1984. 384 p. Price: £27.50 sty. or US$44.00 (£ 19.50 and $31.25 to members of the International Bee Research Association).
Honey is a minor forest product with which virtually everyone is acquainted but about which there is relatively little systematic knowledge. Directory of important world honey sources is a book new in concept, in contents and in method of preparation. It identifies 467 plants - from a preliminary selection list of 2569 that are reported, somewhere in the world, to be a major source of the honey produced there. Some of the honey sources are geographically widespread, like lucerne (alfalfa) and many of the eucalypts; others are confined to a single area, like Plectranthus which grows only on certain slopes of the western Himalayas.
The major part of the directory consists of the main entries for the honey sources selected for inclusion: 452 nectar-producing plants and 15 honeydew-producing plants. For each honey source, details are given (as far as is known, and quantified where possible) of the plant, its economic uses, flowering period and nectar or honeydew flow, its honey and pollen production, and the honey's chemical composition and physical properties, including flavour, aroma and granulation. The directory also contains a list of "candidate plants", which might have been eligible for inclusion if more information were available about them.
This new reference book will be of special value all over the world to honey producers, traders and dealers; bee-keepers; nutritionists and sugar chemists; and scientists and other specialists in applied biology, horticulture, agriculture, agroforestry and environmental sciences.
The large amount of useful information presented in an accessible form in the directory should be especially effective in improving honey production in developing countries. It is hoped also that scientists and bee-keeping specialists will be prompted to obtain data that the directory shows is still lacking. IBRA will run further search programmes to compile satellite directories containing relevant information on special groups of plants. Practical ways are discussed in which additional material can be added to the data bank and made available to those who need it.
The directory includes a bibliography of 820 items, and three indexes to main entries: synonyms of plant names, the names of insects producing honeydew, and 1350 common names of plants.
The work has been funded by the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa. The book can be ordered from the International Bee Research Association, Hill House, Gerrards Cross. Bucks. SL9 ONR, UK.
COCONUT TREE IN SRI LANKA Investigating the world's edible nuts
The book of edible nuts
IUCN directory of neotropical protected areas. IUCN Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA). Dublin, Tycooly International. 1982. 434 p. Part of the book are in Spanish an/parts in English.
The IUCN directory of neotropical protected areas is a useful and interesting book. But it is a strange hybrid, lying somewhere between a computer-generated book of data and a full-fledged reference book. To use it effectively, one must possess good technical reading ability in both Spanish and English, as the descriptions of individual protected areas alternate irregularly and somewhat mysteriously from Spanish to English and back again. The title is misleading, since the book concerns only tropical areas in Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States. Only later, in the foreword - the title doesn't help us here - do we learn that this is the first in a series of directories which will be updated periodically. It is a book that cries out for maps but what few maps the book does contain are rather rudimentarily drawn.
Within these limits, however, the book will repay hours of browsing or serious study. It is clearly an indispensable reference for anyone interested in the subject of natural areas.
For each area, we are given a set of information in specifically delineated areas, beginning with each area's "management category" and "biogeographical province", terms which are amply explained in the introduction. There follows information on legal protection, date of establishment, geographical location, altitude, total area, land tenure, physical features, vegetation, noteworthy fauna, zoning, disturbances or deficiencies, scientific research, special scientific facilities, principal reference material, staff, budget, local park or reserve administration, the name of the coordinator for CNPPA (the Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas of the IUCN) and finally - and importantly - the exact date on which this information was gathered.
The entries are admirably brief and to the point. In describing the "disturbances or deficiencies" at the soon-to-be-established Réserve naturelle de Basse Mana in French Guiana, for instance, the authors write:
Traditional hunting would be allowed over all but 2000 ha of the reserve. There is some risk of disturbance from an agricultural project (rice). Natural sea erosion is lowering the turtle-nesting areas creating dangers from flooding, and consequent death of the eggs.
It is to be hoped that, over time, as subsequent volumes and revisions appear in what promises to be a long, ongoing cataloguing process, the deficiencies seen in the first volume will be corrected. The project is being funded by the World Wildlife Fund in cooperation with Unesco and UNEP, as a contribution to the Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS), and it certainly merits being continued.
Robert Wazeka, Rome
The book of edible nuts. Frederic Rosengarten, Jr. New York, Walker and Co. 1984. 384 p., 370 photos and illustrations, 135 recipes. Price: US$35.00.
As increasing importance is placed upon the role of forests and trees in food production and food security, such "minor" forest products as nuts are beginning to assume more and more importance throughout the world. And, as a result, they are now being studied more carefully. This book is one example, as the vital role of nuts in the evolution of the world's food supply is outlined by Frederic Rosengarten, Jr, himself an experienced nut-grower.
Rosengarten discusses the botany, ecology and methods of cultivation for 12 major nuts: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, coconuts, filberts (hazelnuts), macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, sunflower seeds and walnuts. A supplementary section discusses 30 other nuts, ranging from acorns to watermelon seeds, in more detail.
The book of edible nuts explains how nuts are grown, harvested and processed all around the world - although the emphasis is clearly upon the United States. It also contains nutritional information and 135 recipes for appetizers, main courses and desserts incorporating various types of nuts. Also included are a bibliography, recipe index, glossary and general index.
El Chaco, gran desconocido de nuestro tiempo. Horacio S. Sosa. Asunción, Ministry of National Defence. 1979.
Desarrollo regional del área paraguaya del Proyecto Pilcomayo. Pilcomayo Project, final report, vol. 1. Asunción, Government of the Republic of Paraguay/OAS. 1982.
Dr Horacio Sosa was the first to point out, as early as 1979, in El Chaco, gran desconocido de nuestro tiempo, the need for a social and economic development programme in the Chaco region of Paraguay. The author, who knows the region thoroughly, worked out a development plan based on the human factor and the land itself. He suggests that the Chaco first be divided into areas, and that specific objectives and priorities based on appropriate studies and investigations be established for each area. He also suggests that this development be based on a suitable social and physical infrastructure, which will need not only a legal and institutional framework but also corresponding assistance and planning.
Shortly afterwards, in 1980, the Government of Paraguay, in collaboration with the Organization of American States (OAS), established the Pilcomayo Project for the development of 40 percent of the western region on the left bank of the Pilcomayo River. The purpose of their report, published in 1982, is to formulate specific proposals for action. This first volume gives a summary of the results up to that time, consisting of a group of integrated sectorial actions covering the production, infrastructure and service sectors.
Lastly, in 1983, the first phase of the Project for Integrated Regional Development in the Paraguayan Chaco was completed. It was summarized in the document Desarrollo regional integrado del Chaco paraguayo, prepared by the Government of Paraguay and the Regional Development Department of OAS. The study describes the Chaco's natural and human resources and the infrastructure and services provided to the population and production there. To achieve the integrated socioeconomic development of the Chaco in Paraguay's national context, the study recommends an option that involves making use of the available resources according to the different sectorial components in the region. The second phase of this project will consist of formulating practical proposals for action in the future.
Wood energy development: Report of the FAO/ESCAP Regional Workshop in Bangkok, 13-16 December 1983. Bangkok, FAO/UNDP. 1984. 119 p., 8 colour photos.
This document is a report of the December 1983 Asia region workshop in Bangkok on wood energy development. Sponsored by FAO's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the workshop produced a series of resolutions, reproduced in the report, on each of the seven discussion topics.
The volume also includes the background papers for the discussion topics, which included (1) the current situation and programme regarding fuelwood in the region, with special reports from Bangladesh. India, Indonesia, Nepal and Thailand; (2) management of existing fuelwood resources; (3) creation of new resources; (4) improvement of wood energy use, and problems and potentials in charcoal manufacture; (5) substitution possibilities; (6) research; and (7) regional cooperative measures.
Measuring African trees
Measuring trees and forests: a textbook written for students in Africa. Michael S. Philip. Morogoro, University of Dar es Salaam. 1983. 360 p., 64 figures. Price: £21.00 stg.
This book, published by the University of Dar es Salaam but printed by Aberdeen University Press (Scotland), is written specifically for students in Africa and uses, whenever feasible, examples from the tropics. It is designed to assist students in understanding the principles and mathematical procedures followed in making forest inventories. The book includes chapters on measurements, measuring single trees, measuring tree crops, forest inventory, statistical principles in forest inventory, site assessment and forest growth models.