Central American Ecosystems Map

Sabido, W. and Meerman, J. C. (2001) Central American Ecosystems Map. Central American Ecosystems Map: Belize, 1.

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    The “Central America Ecosystems Mapping Project.” is part of a larger project commissioned by The World Bank and the Government of the Netherlands to undertake a series of regional activities throughout Central America. For its execution the World Bank has sought the integration of the funding into its portfolio with the CCAD. As a result, the current project has become a joint venture between the CAD, the World Bank and the Dutch Government. Furthermore, it has obtained co-financing from the Regional UNDP/GEF project The primary objective of the “Central American Ecosystems Map” was to create a ecosystems map on the scale of 1:250,000 for the region using a uniform methodology and nomenclature. The objective of the Belizean section of the project was to update and correct where necessary the vegetation map produced by Iremonger and Brokaw (1995), and to adapt the classification nomenclature conform the UNESCO classification. Specifically, the nomenclature was to follow guidelines set aside by The Central American Ecosystems Mapping project manager in order to make comparison possible with the similar efforts in the other Central American countries. The current product differs from these earlier classification in that the broader divisions in the hierarchy are based first on vegetation structure (forest, scrub, herbaceous), followed by seasonality, altitudinal aspects, vegetation type(broadleaf, needle-leaf, palm), ground-water regime and ultimately underlying geology and soil. A total of 85 terrestrial ecosystems were identified for Belize. In addition, two marine ecosystems (sea grass beds and coral reefs) were identified and mapped. Agriculture was identified as a land use and subdivided in 7 different subclasses including aquaculture and forest plantations. An attempt was made to distinguish between mechanized agriculture and subsistence/shifting cultivation types of agriculture but this could not be carried out to the full extend due to difficulties in the interpretation of the available satellite imagery. Areas of secondary growth with short rotation shifting cultivation were indiscriminately mapped as either “agriculture” or “shifting cultivation”. The identified ecosystems all find their roots in the 1995 classification by Iremonger and Brokaw. Principally, the classification used in this report was adapted to the UNESCO classification adopted by the current project. Also an altitudinal component was introduced, distinguishing between lowland vegetation types (< 500 m), submontane (500 – 1000 m) and montane (> 1000 m) vegetation types.

    Item Type: Peer-reviewed Journal Article
    Related URLs:
      Publisher: Programme for Belize
      Subjects: (Z) Other or Unspecified
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3D) Other or Unspecified
      Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2013 15:39
      Last Modified: 07 Nov 2013 15:39
      URI: http://eprints.uberibz.org/id/eprint/1415

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