Die Pflanzenwelt Afrikas insbesondere seiner tropischen Gebiete [review-book]

Forrest Shreve
1912 Bulletin of the American Geographical Society  
Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the mid--seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non--commercial purposes. Read more about Early Journal
more » ... out Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate--jstor/individuals/early-journal--content. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Geographical Literature and Maps Geographical Literature and Maps as "What type of manhood will these South American countries develop?" The significance of his work is, however, most emphasized from the economic standpoint. The chapter entitled "Some Reflections and Forecasts" is one which no student of contemporary South American growth can afford to ignore. It is here that the author's wide experience with men and in public affairs is made manifest. The reader is often reminded of the fact that no account whatever is taken by the author of the political questions which interest our southern neighbors. It is doubtless wise for a man in Mr. Bryce's position to take this attitude, but the reader cannot help regretting that he is deprived of the benefit of Mr. Bryce's vast experience in such matters. The book, however, offers so much food for thought in other directions that it will be an inspiration and a help. LEON DOMINIAN. AFRICA Die Pflanzenwelt Afrikas insbesondere seiner tropischen Gebiete. Grundziige der Pflanzenverbreitung in Afrika und die Charakterpflanzen Afrikas. Von A. Engler. I. Band, I. u. 2. Halfte: Allgemeiner U;berblick iiber die Pflanzenwelt Afrikas und ihre Existenzbedingungen. I. Halfte, xxviii and 478 pp.; 2. Hilfte, xii and 55I pp. (pp. 479-1029). Maps, ills., index. Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig, 191o. IO2 x 72, each. For more than ten years Professor Engler, Director of the Berlin Botanical Garden, has been devoting a large share of the energy of his institution to the collection and description of the African flora. A number of botanical expeditions have been sent to the German possessions and to other portions of Africa, and the earlier collections and observations of explorers have been made use of in the furtherance of this ambitious scientific campaign. The assembled results of Engler's work are now being published in a series of five volumes entitled "Die Pflanzenwelt Afrikas," the first of which, in two parts, deals with the vegetation of Africa, and is therefore of wider interest than the succeeding volumes devoted to the classification of the flora. Engler has confessedly devoted the most attention to the German colonies, and has given us an excellent picture of the character and 'distribution of their vegetation. For the remainder of Africa he has given a treatment which is sometimes limited by the lack of knowledge, sometimes' by the uselessness of duplicating very thoroughgoing accounts of vegetation which are already published. Such readily accessible portions of the continent as the Mediterranean coast and the Cape have been thoroughly explored by botanists and are well known both as respects their flora and their vegetation, while large areas of the interior are practically a virgin field. In spite of the unevenness which is thus given to Engler's treatment it is well for scientific purposes that he has undertaken the study of the entire continent, particularly for the solution of problems in the history and movements of the flora, to say nothing of the fact that we have thereby secured the first account of the vegetation of the whole of Africa, and an account which-as respects most of the continent-is as detailed as present knowledge will permit. For purposes of description Engler has divided Africa into five vegetatiqnal areas: the arid northern region of the Mediterranean coast and the Sahara, in which the flora resembles that of southern Europe; tropical East Africa, a region extending from Somaliland to the Cape; a small area in the southwestern part of the Cape which is distinguished by winter rains and a markedly peculiar flora; tropical and sub-tropical West Africa, a region comprising both desert and rain-forest; and the islands off the northwest coast. The most widespread types of vegetation south of the Sahara are sparsely wooded grassland, or savanna, and the still more sparsely wooded bushsteppe, which is practically desert, although possessing a far richer vegetation than the Sahara. The regions covered by heavy rain-forest are limited on the east coast to the vicinity of Zanzibar and on the west coast to the Congo valley and narrow belts on the Guinea Coast. Apparently these forests seldom attain the density and wealth of forms which characterize the forests of the most rainy portions of Mexico and South America. The vertical distribution of
doi:10.2307/200043 fatcat:r2qkbifjavebla2npo2kkvodo4