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Eastern African rain forests are remarkable in their high level of endemism. Miocene uplift of the central African plateau separated these montane and coastal forests from the main Guineo-Congolian forest of west and central Africa. Since then, stable Indian Ocean temperatures maintained a region of high rainfall throughout Pleistocene droughts that devastated forest elsewhere on the continent. Relics of the former Pan-African rain forest survived here, the study of which provides a unique insight into tropical evolutionary processes. This book brings together research on the animals, plants and geography of this intriguing residual forest, and highlights the need for effective management practices to conserve its exceptional biodiversity in the face of increasing pressure for land for cultivation.
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