Lower Guinean forests

Last updated

The Lower Guinean forests is region of coastal tropical moist broadleaf forest in West Africa, extending along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Guinea from eastern Benin through Nigeria and Cameroon.

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests Biome

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests (TSMF), also known as tropical moist forests, are a tropical and subtropical forest habitat type defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The habitat type is sometimes known as jungle.

West Africa Westernmost region of the African continent

West Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 16 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, the Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, as well as the United Kingdom Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. The population of West Africa is estimated at about 362 million people as of 2016, and at 381,981,000 as of 2017, of which 189,672,000 are female and 192,309,000 male.

Gulf of Guinea The northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean between Cape Lopez in Gabon, north and west to Cape Palmas in Liberia

The Gulf of Guinea is the northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean between Cape Lopez in Gabon, north and west to Cape Palmas in Liberia. The intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian is in the gulf.

Contents

The Dahomey Gap, a region of savanna and dry forest in Togo and Benin, divides the Lower Guinean forests from the Upper Guinean forests to the west, which extend along the western coast of the Gulf of Guinea from Togo to Liberia and north to Guinea.

In West Africa, the Dahomey Gap refers to the portion of the Guinean forest-savanna mosaic that extends all the way to the coast in Benin, Togo and Ghana, thus separating the forest zone that covers much of the south of the region into two separate parts. The forest region west of the gap is called the Upper Guinean forests or Guinean forest zone, and the portion east of the gap is called the Lower Guinean forests, Lower Guinean-Congolian forests, or Congolian Forest Zone.

Togo Country in Africa

Togo, officially the Togolese Republic, is a country in West Africa bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. The sovereign state extends south to the Gulf of Guinea, where its capital Lomé is located. Togo covers 57,000 square kilometres, making it one of the smallest countries in Africa, with a population of approximately 7.6 million.

Benin country in Africa

Benin, officially the Republic of Benin and formerly Dahomey, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. The majority of its population lives on the small southern coastline of the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northernmost tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean. The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is in Cotonou, the country's largest city and economic capital. Benin covers an area of 114,763 square kilometres (44,310 sq mi) and its population in 2016 was estimated to be approximately 10.87 million. Benin is a tropical nation, highly dependent on agriculture, and is a large exporter of cotton and palm oil. Substantial employment and income arise from subsistence farming.

To the north and northeast, the Lower Guinean forests transition to the drier inland Guinean forest-savanna mosaic and Northern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic and to the southeast by the Congolian Coastal forests, whose boundary is the Sanaga River in Cameroon. [1]

Guinean forest-savanna mosaic

The Guinean forest-savanna mosaic is an ecoregion of West Africa, a band of interlaced forest, savanna, and grassland running east to west and dividing the tropical moist forests near the coast from the West Sudanian savanna of the interior.

Northern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic

The Northern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic is a forest and savanna ecoregion of central Africa, part of the belt of transitional forest-savanna mosaic that lie between Africa's equatorial forests and the tropical dry forests, savannas, and grasslands that lie to the north and south. The Northern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic lies between the equatorial Congolian forests to the south and the drier East Sudanian savanna to the north. It extends from the Cameroon Highlands in the west, across central Cameroon and the southern Central African Republic to southwestern South Sudan and northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it is bounded on the east by flooded grasslands of the Sudd, the eastern block of the East Sudanian savanna, and the Albertine Rift montane forests.

Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests

The Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests are a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of central Africa, covering hills, plains, and mountains of the Atlantic coast of Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Angola, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Lower Guinean forests share many biotic affinities with the Upper Guinean forests. They are collectively known as the Guinean Forests of West Africa.

The Guinean forests of West Africa is a biodiversity hotspot designated by Conservation International, which includes the belt of tropical moist broadleaf forests along the coast of West Africa, running from Sierra Leone and Guinea in the west to the Sanaga River of Cameroon in the east. The Dahomey Gap, a region of savanna and dry forest in Togo and Benin, divides the Guinean forests into the Upper Guinean forests and Lower Guinean forests.

Ecoregions

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) divides the Lower Guinean forests into a number of distinct ecoregions:

World Wide Fund for Nature international non-governmental organization

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961, working in the field of wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment. It was formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States.

Ecoregion Ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion

An ecoregion is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than an ecozone. All three of these are either less or greater than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities and species. The biodiversity of flora, fauna and ecosystems that characterise an ecoregion tends to be distinct from that of other ecoregions. In theory, biodiversity or conservation ecoregions are relatively large areas of land or water where the probability of encountering different species and communities at any given point remains relatively constant, within an acceptable range of variation.

The Cross-Niger transition forests are a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of southeastern Nigeria, located between the Niger River on the west and the Cross River on the east. Once a rich mixture of tropical forest and savanna woodland covered these low, rolling hills but today this is one of the most densely populated areas of Africa and today most of the forest has been removed and the area is now grassland.

Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests

The Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests are a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of west-central Africa. This is lush forest rich in flora and birdlife.

Cameroonian Highlands forests

The Cameroonian Highlands forests are a montane tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion located on the range of mountains that runs inland from the Gulf of Guinea and forms the border between Cameroon and Nigeria. This is an area of forest and grassland which is becoming increasingly more populous as more and more land is cleared for agriculture.

The WWF has designated two regions of the Lower Guinean forests as Global 200 priority regions for conservation. The WWF's "Coastal Congolian forests" region includes the Cross-Sanaga Bioko coastal forests, São Tomé and Príncipe moist lowland forests, and Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests ecoregions. The "Cameroon Highlands forests" Global 200 region includes the Cameroonian Highlands forests and the Mount Cameroon and Bioko montane forests ecoregions.

See also

  1. Linder, H. Peter, Helen M. de Klerk Julia Born et al. (2012). "The partitioning of Africa: statistically defined biogeographical regions in sub‐Saharan Africa". Journal of Biogeography Volume 39, Issue 7 May 2012.

Related Research Articles

The Global 200 is the list of ecoregions identified by WWF, the global conservation organization, as priorities for conservation. According to WWF, an ecoregion is defined as a "relatively large unit of land or water containing a characteristic set of natural communities that share a large majority of their species dynamics, and environmental conditions". So, for example, based on their levels of endemism, Madagascar gets multiple listings, ancient Lake Baikal gets one, and the North American Great Lakes get none.

The Upper Guinean forests is a tropical seasonal forest region of West Africa. The Upper Guinean forests extend from Guinea and Sierra Leone in the west through Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana to Togo in the east, and a few hundred kilometers inland from the Atlantic coast. A few enclaves of montane forest lie further inland in the mountains of central Guinea and central Togo and Benin.

Congolian rainforests tropical rainforests of central and Western Africa

The Congolian rainforests are a broad belt of lowland tropical moist broadleaf forests which extend across the basin of the Congo River and its tributaries in Central Africa.

Forest-savanna mosaic is a transitory ecotone between the tropical moist broadleaf forests of Equatorial Africa and the drier savannas and open woodlands to the north and south of the forest belt. The forest-savanna mosaic consists of drier forests, often gallery forest, interspersed with savannas and open grasslands.

The São Tomé, Príncipe, and Annobón moist lowland forests is a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion that covers the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, which form the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe, as well as the island of Annobón, which is part of Equatorial Guinea.

Wildlife of Cameroon

The wildlife of Cameroon is composed of its flora and fauna. Bordering Nigeria, it is considered one of the wettest parts of Africa and records Africa's second highest concentration of biodiversity. To preserve its wildlife, Cameroon has more than 20 protected reserves comprising national parks, zoos, forest reserves and sanctuaries. The protected areas were first created in the northern region under the colonial administration in 1932; the first two reserves established were Mozogo Gokoro Reserve and the Bénoué Reserve, which was followed by the Waza Reserve on 24 March 1934. The coverage of reserves was initially about 4 percent of the country's area, rising to 12 percent; the administration proposes to cover 30 percent of the land area.

Mount Cameroon and Bioko montane forests

The Mount Cameroon and Bioko montane forests ecoregion, of the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests Biome, are in Afromontane habitats in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea of Africa.

Rumpi Hills mountain in Cameroon

The Rumpi hills are an undulating mountain range with its highest peak, Mount Rata about 1,800 m (5,900 ft) located between the villages of Dikome Balue and Mofako Balue, Ndian division in the Southwest region of Cameroon. The hills are situated at 4°50’N 9°07’E, cutting across four local councils, with the eastern slopes in Dikome Balue, southern slopes in Ekondo Titi, western slopes in Mundemba, and northern slopes in Toko local councils respectively. These hills are located about 80 km (50 mi) north of Mount Cameroon; about 50 km (31 mi) west of the Bakossi Mountains and some 15 km (9.3 mi) southeast of the Korup National Park.

<i>Junonia cymodoce</i> species of insect

Junonia cymodoce, the blue leaf butterfly or blue leaf pansy, is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It is found in Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, the Republic of the Congo, Angola, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, western Uganda, western Tanzania and north-western Zambia. The habitat consists of lowland forests.

Guineo-Congolian region Biogeographical region in Africa

The Guineo-Congolian region is a biogeographical region in Africa straddling the Equator and stretching from the Atlantic Ocean through the Congo Basin to the Congo / Nile divide in Rwanda and Burundi. Formerly, this ecozone was largely covered in rain forest, on both well-drained sites and in swamp forests, but little undisturbed primary forest now remains, having been replaced in many areas by savanna and secondary-growth forest.