There are thousands of single species plant distribution maps currently in distribution, documenting plant distributions over the vast majority of sub-Saharan Africa. The maps display species distributions on a per-species basis, and date back over the last 100+ years documenting what for many was a life’s work.
Current conservation initiatives call for the understanding of the total species composition, or the levels of diversity, of areas under analysis.
The raw data for this is available in the single species distribution maps. However, cumulative maps of species distributions displaying broader distributions at higher taxonomic scales have historically not been available due to technological limitations.
The advent of faster computers with large amounts of digital storage space, and the development of the software application ‘WORLDMAP,’ makes constructing these cumulative plant species databases a possibility.
It is predicted that there are around 40,000 sub-Saharan African plant species. It is the aim of CELP to compile 10-15% of these from available distribution maps. To date, over 3500 available species have been mapped at the 1-degree resolution here at CELP.