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This letter presents a case study addressing the comparison between different synthetic aperture radar (SAR) partial polarimetric options for tropical-vegetation cartography. These options include compact polarization (CP), dual polarization (DP), and alternating polarization (AP). They are all derived from fully polarimetric (FP) SAR data acquired by the airborne SAR (AIRSAR) sensor over the French Polynesian Tubuai Island. The classification approach is based on the support vector machine algorithm and is further validated by several ground surveys. For a single frequency band, FP data give significantly better results than any other partial polarimetric configuration. Among the partial polarimetric architectures, the CP mode performs best. In addition, the DP mode shows better performance than the AP mode, highlighting the value of the polarimetric differential phase. The combination of different frequency bands (P-, L-, and C-bands) holds the most significant improvement: The multifrequency diversity adds generally more information than the multipolarization diversity. A noticeable result is the major contribution of the C-band at VV polarization (the only polarization available at C-band with the AIRSAR data set used in this letter) to the classification performance, due to its ability to discriminate between Pinus and Falcata.