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The vast and bare central plateau of the Great Island is surrounded by a Malagasy sylve. In the 1930s, there was no serious breach in this forest belt just cut, here and there, of rivers and rivers, but an infinity of faces, tones and depths.
In fact, we can not speak of the “forest of Madagascar”, but of the forests betsimisaraka, tanala, antemoro, antandroy, mahafaly, masikoro, sakalava and many others. It appears, in fact, that “the associations of trees and those of men have been grouped two by two, by affinity, human races and vegetable stands, to form only a living, indestructible block deeply attached to the corner of the earth Of a common ancestor “.
In the Great Island, the forest extends along the shoreline, reaches the highlands from 1,000 to 2,000 meters above sea level, from the north, center or south, but what strikes us most is ” That no tree of the land can be seen. ” According to botanists, this anomaly results from the ancestral Malagasy practice of the “tavy”, which they describe as “destructions followed
Forest fires “for the cultivation of food crops. A practice against which it is very difficult for the administration to react completely.
The forest gradually recedes from the most populous plateaus, to be confined in the coastal and intermediate regions, as the colonization in the periphery of the island develops.
Another reason for the regression of the woodlands “and to a large extent” is the annual fires in the grasslands and bushland for the immediate but ephemeral renewal of pastures. “These fires lick the forest edges and cause them to decline each year more. “
Where the fire passes, after a few centuries if not years, the tree can no longer grow back and natural vegetation becomes scarce. And this is the infernal cycle: erosion drives the thin layer of earth already calcined by the fire itself. As a result, any attempt at artificial forest stands is almost impossible.
In the 1930s, for example, these central regions present a landscape of “glowing nudity of barren wild beauty”, while the vast and vast forest still covers nearly six million hectares. Three main types of forest are found in Madagascar.
To the east, it has a tropical character, in the west it displays deciduous leaves and in the south, it is the xerophilous forest. But this is only a general distinction of the sylve
Because there are all the intermediate stages of these three types, not to mention that
Each contains a number of very particular and locally confined stands.
In addition, the term “deciduous western forest” is too general, since the West has a whole mangrove mangrove mangrove, whose foliage persists throughout the year. The eastern forest, an uninterrupted spindle that stretches in the northern region of Toamasina with the enormous appendix of the Masoala peninsula, presents four distinct varieties. These are the coastal and lagoon forests, the large primitive forest of the first cliff, the secondary and degraded forest of the intermediate region and the homogeneous stands of raffia.
Between the sea and the Pangalana Canal, the sandy soil is covered with vegetation
Clear and slender which fixes the sand of the dunes. The Pandanus and the Dracoena cut their fans and their plumes between the light foliage of copaliers and filaos.
Other halophilous plants support their bodies on numerous aerial roots such as true crutches supporting the symmetrical branches. A rather similar but denser stand extends beyond the lagoon and is enriched with various species towards the foothills of the first cliff.
There are some of the finest woodwork in Madagascar: rosewood, ebony
Veined, red rosewood as well as fine carpentry woods, among which the Hintsy, the Piro and the copalier. “This latter essence also produces the famous copal resin whose value gives rise to a commercial asset. “