Potential natural vegetation of Ethiopia

We have a long-standing collaboration with Prof. Ib Friis, Professor emeritus at Biosystematics of the Natural History Museum of Denmark and Prof. Sebsebe Demissew at the National herbarium of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa University on the mapping of the potential natural vegetation in Ethiopia. One of the early outputs was the atlas of the natural vegetation of Ethiopia in 2010 (see below), a well received and now widely used standard work based on decades of fieldwork of above-mentioned scientists. We continue to work to further expand and improve our knowledge of the vegetation in Ethiopia (see this website for some more background), in the hope that this will not only lead to more scientific knowledge, but ultimately will provide the tools to better manage and conserve the country's natural environment.

The atlas of the natural vegetation of Ethiopia

Based on many years of field work by the two senior authors Ib Friis and Sebsebe Demissew and with the application of GIS analyses by Paulo van Breugel 15 major vegetation types in Ethiopia were described and mapped in the Atlas of the Potential Vegetation of Ethiopia (reference: Ib Friis, Sebsebe Demissew and Paulo van Breugel, 2010. Atlas of the Potential Vegetation of Ethiopia. Biologiske Skrifter (Biol.Skr.Dan.Vid.Selsk.), 58, pp 307). Download a flyer (pdf file) with information about the atlas.

The cover of the atlas

The book describes in detail the structure and floristic composition of the vegetation types recognized, and the descriptions are illustrated with selected photographs from many parts of Ethiopia. The atlas benefits from the complete taxonomic revision for the Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea made during the years 1980-2009.

The book also contains 29 map plates and a legend to signatures, showing potential distribution of the 15 natural vegetation types. It furthermore describes the relation between the new classification of vegetation types and two previous classifications by respectively R.E.G. Pichi Sermolli (1957) and Frank White (1983). See also this review of the atlas. If you are interested in ordering one (price 400 DKK or approx. USD 53, excl. VAT, plus postage), please send an email to the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters or check out your favorite (online) bookstore.

Online view and download

You can download the data as raster or shapefile layer or as pdf in A4 or A0 format. The download button on the right will open a data request form. The map is also available as a Google Earth layer, as shapefile and as geotif raster layer from http://vegetationmap4africa.org, as part of the potential natural vegetation map of eastern Africa. You can furthermore view the map online in your webbrowser.