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A Vegetation Map of Tropical Continental Asia at Scale 1:5 Million

F. Blasco, M. F. Bellan and M. Aizpuru
Journal of Vegetation Science
Vol. 7, No. 5 (Oct., 1996), pp. 623-634
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3236374
Page Count: 27
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A Vegetation Map of Tropical Continental Asia at Scale 1:5 Million
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Abstract

A vegetation map at scale 1 : 5 million is presented. It covers Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), India, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka and fills a conspicuous gap in the cartography of tropical vegetation, following the publication of vegetation maps of South America, Africa and Malaysia. For conformity, it is presented as one sheet at a scale of 1 : 5 million. It uses the basic map of the American Geographical Society (1942; bipolar oblique conformal projection) which forms the base for FAO's Soil map of the world. Basic information was obtained from many published maps, unpublished observations and satellite data. The limits of the main vegetation types have been updated with a complete set of Landsat MSS images (369 scenes) with a mosaic of Landsat TM data for 1991 and with recent forest maps from Asia. Nine main vegetation units, which are groups of forest formations, have been identified and mapped, including woodlands, thickets and wooded savannas. Agricultural land has been shown in a uniform pale green colour in order to clearly express the extent of human impacts on woody vegetation. In spite of the necessary oversimplification of the ground data, this map is probably the most explicit expression of the remaining forest stands and of the regression of natural vegetation in the region. It can be considered as a benchmark for future monitoring of tropical vegetation.

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