Natural forest formations
Forest cover map
The northern part of the coastal region has the greatest forestry potential, with relatively large areas of productive, floristically homogeneous forest. On the Forest Map of Peru (Malleux, 1975) these forests are classified as mangroves, closed dry forest, dry savanna forest and scrub. The central and southern parts have more arid conditions, with large stretches of desert. Although in certain areas atmospheric conditions have caused breaks in the desert landscape, these areas still count as forests. There are over one million hectares of land in the region, particularly in the north, suitable for forest use (shrubland). When these areas are added to the productive forests, it is clear that the Peruvian coastal region has major forestry potential.
The forestry potential of the mountain region is fairly encouraging, in as much as the Forest Map of Peru shows it as containing the largest amount of land classified as suitable for forest use. As in the coastal region, the northern part has better conditions so far as humidity is concerned and this, together with its particular social and economic features, has motivated large-scale reforestation programmes, mainly on various species of eucalyptus: Eucalyptus globulus, E. viminalis, E. bicostata, E. camaldulensis, etc.
The forest region is totally covered by natural forest, indicating the major forestry potential of this area. According to Tosi (1960), these forests are for the most part environmentally classified as tropical moist forest, subtropical moist forest, tropical wet forest and subtropical wet forest. Within the forest region, the Forest Map of Peru distinguishes pure productive stands where the importance of Mauritia sp. and Euterpe sp. stands in the low forest and of Podocarpus sp. (the only native conifer) stands in the high forest should be stressed. Mixed productive stands of various types cover most of the forest region, and the extent and specific features of these are given in greater detail below.
The following descriptions are based on the results of forest surveys and are presented following the classification system of the Forest Map of Peru.
The above map is an extract from the Global Forest Cover map produced as part of FRA 2000. Please refer to FRA Working Paper 19 for a background to the production of the map.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
Map source: Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000, base map: ESRI