Descriptions of the Gambia LandUse GIS Data

The GIS landuse and vegetation coverages for The Gambia were derived from maps produced by Office of Remote Sensing, South Dakota State University in 1982. They were digitized by Geir Tyldum as part of a masters thesis study on sea-level rise.

The maps are divided into the following 20 different landuse and vegetation classes:

5Major urban areasU
7Undefined areas

RAINFED AGRICULTURE: Upland and colluvial soils
10Current agriculture (intensive/ non intensive)A
14Non-intensive cultivation in palm grovesL

16Swamp rise Ar
18Irrigated riceAri

NON-AGRICULTURAL AREAS: Upland and colluvial soils
20Shrub and tree savannaVS
22Savanna woodlandsB
24Savanna woodland/ woodland transitionBF
28Riparian and fringing savanna woodlands and woodlandsBFv
30Gallery forestsG

34Barren flatsT
36Herbaceous steppesPs
38Grass savannaPd
40Shrub and tree savannaPvs
42Savanna woodlandsPb
44Woodlands (riparian)Pf

Additional description of selected landuse and vegetation classes.

FORESTS: A vegetation structure in which trees grow close together with crowns in contact, and which shades the ground.

Mangrove Forests: Evergreen forests found within the intertidal zone. Closed canopy.

Gallery Forests: Forests normally found in the vicinity of river banks. Climate independent in that water is extracted from moistly soils. A continuos stream of groundwater is present at all times.

WOODLANDS: Crowns of the trees are mostly separated by open areas, usually having a low herbs or shrub layer.

Riparian/ fringing woodlands: Woodlands which are found along river banks, sometimes penetrating many kilometres into the savanna. Patches of the woodland (woodland outliners) occur in places where some natural feature has protected them from the spread of fire.


Savanna woodlands: There are many trees and shrubs and the trees grow close together, though without forming a continuos canopy. Ground flora is dominated by tall grasses.

Tree Savanna: Trees and shrubs are present but the trees are scattered. Ground flora dominated by tall grasses.

Shrub Savanna: Trees are absent. Shrubs are present, scattered around a ground flora dominated by tall grasses.

Grass Savanna: Trees and shrubs are absent. The vegetation is entirely dominated by tall grasses.


Herbaceous steppes: Woody vegetation are absent. Vegetation dominated by herbs.