Ribeiro N.S., Silva de Miranda P., Timberlake J. [2020] (2020). Biogeography and Ecology of Miombo Woodlands. In: Ribeiro, N.S., Katerere, Y., Chirwa, P.W., Grundy, I.M. (eds) Miombo Woodlands in a Changing Environment: Securing the Resilience and Sustainability of People and Woodlands. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-50104-4_2

The miombo woodlands form the largest dry forest ecosystem both worldwide and in southern Africa. They have existed since the Tertiary Period following major climatic and topographic changes which shrank the closed evergreen forests. We describe miombo distribution according to the ecological importance of Brachystegia and Julbernardia, the two main genera, and according to the abundance of the main plant species. Analyses indicate that the woodlands cover nearly 2 million km2. The ecology of the woodlands is driven by climate, soils and disturbances, but given the extent of woodland cover change, the variability in structure and composition across the region is enormous and not always directly related to the determinants. This landscape variability is important for miombo conservation and management. Continued active research is essential to increase knowledge in the current global changing context.

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