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Title: The central western Sudan and its vegetation : with supplementary papers on forestry research in northern Nigeria and the identification and examination of forest types from aerial photographs
Author: Fairbairn, William Alexander
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1945
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Increased interest in the wise use of land has focussed attention in recent years on the study of the vegetation of the Western Sudan and the question of progressive desiccation and accelerated soil erosion in Northern Nigeria and in French West Africa has received serious investigation. It is now appreciated that soil deterioration has occurred over large areas of arable land which has been unwisely over-exploited and that accelerated soil erosion does not occur to any extent, (although there is normal soil erosion), in the southern portion of the French Niger Colony and in Northern Nigeria; this is largely because the region is for the most part, an undulating if somewhat elevated plain. The writer was engaged on the investigation of possible desiccation in the Kano and Katsina Provinces and part of Bornu Province in Northern Nigeria and also travelled extensively in Sokoto Province. He has been fortunate in spending several years of service in Northern Nigeria and in having been able to carry out a number of vegetational surveys throughout French West Africa; these included journeys in 1933 from Gao across the Sahara to North Africa, in 1935 from Lagos via Niamey to Dakar, in 1939 from Katsina to Agades and the Bagzan Mountains, in 1943 to the Matamaye area and in January of 1944 from Kano to Zinder and Maradi. The writing of this paper was interrupted for three years during the period of hostilities; the interruption was fortunate. for the writer was able to obtain a wider knowledge of French West Africa with over two years of constant study of it in connexion with his Military duties. French Niger Colony was visited during that period at a number of points on the frontier. The journeys in French West Africa were made specific- :ally to study the vegetation and ecology of the area, of which so much is yet to be learned, so that it might be compared with the vegetation, the land-utilisation and the ecology of Northern Nigeria with its much denser population. The vegetation was plotted continuously on the journeys to Agades and Birnin Konni and to Zinder and Maradi: These with the Gao and Dakar journeys form the basis of the vegetational classification included in this paper. A number of aerial photographs which were taken over Northern Nigeria and Niger Colony are included so as better to illustrate the vegetation types; ground photographs of some of the actual points recorded in the aerial photographs were taken afterwards by the writer for the purpose of comparison. Two supplementary papers are included in the thesis, one on the identification and examination of forest types from aerial photographs, the second on silvicultural and ecological research from which definite data have been obtained.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Sc.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available