ECOLOGICAL AND VEGETATIVE ZONES IN NIGERIA
Vegetation usually depends on the climate zones of the country. Vegetation belts in Nigeria reflect the tight link between the vegetation and the country’s climate: Rainforest; Fresh Water Swamp; Sahel Savanna; Short Grass Savanna; Guinea Savanna; Woodland; Marginal Savanna; Mangrove; Montane; Sudan Savanna.
The vegetative zones and local; biotic communities in Nigeria can be grouped into two major areas. They are Forest zone and the Savanna zone. These are further sub-grouped into climatic belts.
MANGROVE SWAMP FOREST:
this is made up of fresh and salt water swamp
TROPICAL RAIN FOREST
The savanna zones of Nigeria is made up of grass land and is further sub-divided into three main belt biotic communities which are Southern Guinea savanna, Northern Guinea savanna and Sahel Savanna.
MANGROVE SWAMP FOREST
The mangrove swamp forest is found along the coastal belt of the country, especially in states like Delta, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross Rivers, Bayelsa, Ondo, Ogun and Lagos state.
i. A typical swamp forest has tall woody trees
ii. Plants found in swamp forest mainly have aerial roots
iii. The trees in the swamp forest are evergreen with broad leaves.
iv. This belt has high rainfall of over 250cm throughout the year which results in water logging
v. Waters in the swamp forest is combination fresh and salt water
vi. Common plant species found here are white mangrove, red mangrove, raffia palm, coconut etc.
vii. Animals found in the swamp forest include Tilapia fish, oysters, crabs, snakes, birds and others
Where can we find the tropical rain-forest in Nigeria?
The tropical rain-forest can be found in states like Lagos, Edo, Delta, Ogun, Anambra, Bayelsa, Abia, Imo, Ondo and Akwa Ibom.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A TROPICAL RAIN-FOREST
How can we identify a tropical rain-forest?
Here are a few characteristics identifiable the tropical rain-forest
i. The vegetation found in the tropical rain-forest has tall trees with buttress roots and evergreen leaves
ii. The trees exist in different height or layers
iii. The biome experience high rainfall of over 200cm, high temperature and high relative humidity
iv. Plants species found in this type of ecological zone are Iroko, Obeche, Mahogany, African walnut, Opepe and Ebony
v. Animals commonly found in this belt are monkeys, birds, snakes, chameleon and squirrel
vi. The trees are scattered and deciduous, meaning they shed leaves during dry season
vii. The tropical forest usually has tall grasses
SOUTHERN GUINEA SAVANNA
This biotic communities are found in states like Enugu, Kogi, Benue, Kwara, Oyo, Ebonyi, Osun and Ekiti
CHARACTERISTICS OF SOUTHERN GUINEA SAVANNA
I. THIS TYPE OF COMMUNITY OR BELT is the largest in Nigeria
II. It has moderate rainfall of around 100-150cm
III. The Southern Guinea Savanna has tall grasses
IV. The trees here are tall and as broad leaves
V. The trees are scattered and deciduous
VI. The important trees here includes locust bean tree, shea butter and Isobelina
VII. Animals found in this ecological zone include but not limited to antelopes, lions, leopard and zebra.
NORTHERN GUINEA SAVANNA
This biome is found in states like Plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi, Niger, Taraba, Adamawa and Kano
CHARACTERISTICS OF NORTHERN GUINEA SAVANNA
i. The Northern Guinea Savanna has a relatively low rainfall of about 50-100cm per annum
ii. The Northern Guinea Savanna has scattered and short d3ciduous trees
iii. It has short but numerous grasses
iv. Most of the trees has thorn while others have thick bark
v. Some of the trees wither in dry season and sprout at the beginning of rainy season
vi. Common plants species found In this belt or communities are acacia, date palm, silk cotton plant and baobab
vii. Common animal are lizards, deer, lions, leopards, antelope and hyena
The local biotic community called Sahel Savanna is found only in the extreme Northern parts of Nigeria such as Bornu, Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, and Jigawa
CHARACTERISTICS OF SAHEL SAVANNA
i. The biome has high temperature and very low rainfall of below 50cm per annum
ii. This ecological belt or zone has short and scanty grasses
iii. It also has short and tough shrubs or trees
iv. It has many drought resistant and scattered plants
v. The grasses are poorer and in patches
vi. Important trees includes acacia, gum Arabic and date pam
CHARACTERISTICS OF TREES AND SHRUB OF THE SAVANNA
I. Trees and shrubs are scattered and woody
II. They have narrow leaves and few stomata
III. Their leaves have thick cuticle
IV. The trees are not usually very tall
V. The have gnarled, twisted or crooked trunks with fissured, fire resistant or corky barks
VI. Most of the trees are deciduous
VII. They also have long taproots with an extensive root system
This biome is located at the northern borders of Sokoto, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe and Bornu
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DESERT
1. A desert has little or no rainfall in most of the year
2. The desert has high temperature and very low humidity
3. The desert has fewer grasses and shrubs
4. The plants found in the desert have special features which enable them to survive in the desert
5. Examples of trees found here are cacti trees and baobab
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