The Wetland Book pp 1413-1422 | Cite as

Peatlands of Africa

  • Piet-Louis GrundlingEmail author
  • Ab P. GrootjansEmail author
Reference work entry


An abundance of different wetland types occur across the continent but the occurrence of peatlands is less common. Africa, the second largest landmass on earth, is a continent with diverse landscapes ranging from snow-capped mountains on the Equator (e.g., Kilimanjaro) to the world’s largest desert, the Sahara in the north, and Fynbos Biome the world’s richest and smallest floral kingdom located in South Africa. The variety of mires and peatlands on the world’s second largest continent are an expression of its diverse landscapes and associated climatic conditions. Local communities often depend on these peatlands (as with most other wetland types) for their livelihoods. However, these peatlands are often poorly managed and mostly severely degraded and in developing areas frequently threatened by future developments. Africa’s peatlands are poorly researched and inventories on where they occur and their conservation status are lacking. Many opportunities exist to do research, implement wise use practices and restoration.


Africa Arid Peatland Threats Tropical 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Environmental ManagementUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  2. 2.Centre for Energy and Environmental StudiesUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Institute of Water and Wetland ResearchRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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