Biogeography and Ecology of Southern Africa

Volume 31 of the series Monographiae Biologicae pp 77-130

Late Cretaceous and Tertiary vegetation history of Africa

  • D. I. Axelrod
  • , P. H. Raven

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Twenty-five years have elapsed since Moreau (1952) completed his outstanding essay, ‘Africa since the Mesozoic: with particular reference to certain biological problems’. This valuable synthesis resulted from his interest in a major problem raised by the avifaunas. They reveal great differences between the four principal habitats of the continent: the arid regions, savanna, lowland evergreen forest, and montane evergreen forest. Since two or more of these ecosystems regularly are contiguous over wide areas, the coexistence of distinct avifaunas in them for a long period of time requires explanation, as does the existence of the different vegetation zones themselves.