Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Africa, Coastal Ecology

  • Anton McLachlan
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48657-4_2-2


The continent of Africa straddles the equator and extends to about 35° latitude both north and south. It is, therefore, dominated by warm water regions and its coastline includes environments such as coral reefs and mangroves, except at the northwest and southwestern extremes, where temperate environments occur. The African coastline, excluding Madagascar (4,000 km), totals 35,000 km. A review of the literature dealing with sandy beaches in Africa (Bally 1986) found the earliest paper to have been published in the 1880s and, of more than 1,000 papers published over 100 years, 19% concerned north Africa, 16% west Africa, 15% east Africa and Madagascar, and 55% southern Africa, particularly South Africa. Early papers were primarily taxonomic but later publications were mainly ecological. English was the language of 59% of the papers, followed by French (29%), German (7%), and Italian (3%). This sketch for literature on sandy beaches is probably representative of all papers...

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of ScienceSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatOman