Geology Reference
In-Depth Information
5 East African coastal forest
1879; Wakefield, 1904). A few years later, Rev.
Charles New provided a vivid, first account (New,
1873) of the natural history of the coastal vegeta-
ion (nyika) and of the relaionship between the
forests and the Mijikenda (the 'Wanyika') who
lived in and around them.
Plant collecions were made in a few coastal
areas of Tanzania in the second half of the last
centuy, for example by Holst in the Pugu Hills,
Stuhlmann in the Pangani area and Kirk in 1884
in the Tanga area (see Gillett, 1961b). Other less
prolific collectors included Baron Hofmarschal
Saint Paul who discovered the first African violets
(Saintpaulia ionantha) amongst the Tanga lime-
stone outcrops (Burtt, 1948). More recently, col-
lectors such as Faulkner in the Pangani area have
filled gaps in our knowledge (Polhill, 1980, in
Hubbard et al., 1952-83), but collecions from
many Tanzanian coastal forests remain far from
complete. Many new species have been dis-
covered in the last 20 years, several yet unnamed.
Almost certainly others lie undiscovered.
Accounts of vegetaion by New and others
(Farler, 1875; Hildebrandt, 1879; Hobley, 1895,
1905) give some idea of the forest in the last
century. A more thorough survey of the coastal
forests was made for Kenya by Dale (1939) and
more recently by Moomaw (1960), but no
equivalent reament of the Tanzanian coastal
forests eists. For parts of Tanzania, Engler's
(1910) account is the only one available. More
general summaries of the coastal forests have
been made by Phillips (1931), Rea (1935), Burtt
Davy (1935, 1938), Gillman (1949), Greenway
(1973), Hamilton & Faden (1973) and White
For more than a century collecions and observa-
ions have been made in the Kenyan and
Tanzanian coastal forests.
Coastal forest is defined in terms of its
geographical posiion and geomorphological
associaion. Environmental and human inluences
are discussed.
Major pattens in the flora are discussed in
terms of ive ecogeographical elements, relaing to
disribuion of species within and adjacent to
coastal orests. The disribuion of species outside
the coastal region is summarised as well.
Forests are described informally, emphasising
local vaiaion and complex pattens. The range of
associaion within both Moist and Dry forests
locally is compounded by Northen and Southen
elements, defined by species of resricted
Origins of the observed pattens are discussed.
Apart from environmental and human influences,
'Gleasonian' factors are likely to have been
important. Prioriies or conservaion measures
are suggested.
Historical backround
Botanical collecions rom East Africa's coastal
regions started with missionay aciviy in the
mid-19th century. The irst mission staion on
mainland East Africa was established in 1855
close to Mombasa (Krapf, 1860, 1882), and the
Rev. Thomas Wakefield soon sent plant speci-
mens to England from this area (see Brewin,
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