The Flore du Gabon series provides access to the information on the great botanical wealth of this central African country, reputedly harbouring the richest lowland rain forest in Africa. With 12.5% of all plant species being endemic to the country and some 85% of its surface being covered with a highly diverse lowland rain forest, Gabon is a botanical paradise and hotspot. Over 10% of its surface is under protection, which renders this country a Mecca for conservationists, ecotourism and scientists. For an effective conservation management, but also to support a wise and sustainable use of this unique diversity, it is essential to be able to simply identify the plants that play such an important role, be it as food for gorillas, birds, etc., as medicine, nutrition or timber, or just as one of these essential elements of the ecological network. The Flore du Gabon provides this essential tool for reliable identification, its editorial team making sure the identification keys are simple and straightforward, descriptions having diagnostic features stand out in bold, and clarifying illustrations. As such, it hopes to assist researchers, foresters, conservationists, amateur botanists and policy makers alike and to contribute to the survival of Gabon’s unique biodiversity.
The Flore du Gabon series was started in 1961 by the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (MNHN) in Paris and until 2004 no less than 37 volumes were published dealing with about 80 families and over 2200 species. In 2006, the Wageningen branch of the National Herbarium of the Netherlands (NHN), now part of Naturalis Biodiversity Center, who had built up their knowledge on the Gabonese flora for over 35 years, continued its production. In 2014, the series was continued jointly by Meise Botanic Garden and Naturalis. End of 2018, almost 3300 species have been dealt with, while around 1250 await their treatment.
For this final challenge, additional funding was obtained from the Alberta Mennega Foundation. This should render it feasible to produce two or three volumes each year and finish the Flore du Gabon series by 2023.
M.S.M. Sosef, (Editor)2018; IV+52pp.; 16 x 25 cm; paperback
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