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The rain forests of West Africa were distinct as one of many world's hotspots of biodiversity. They expand from Ghana to Senegal and are often called the higher Guinean forests. due to their remoted place, they harbor numerous infrequent and endemic animal and plant species.

This e-book specializes in the biodiversity and ecology of those forests. It analyzes the standards that provide upward push to biodiversity and constitution tropical plant groups. additionally it is an atlas with ecological profiles of infrequent plant species and massive bushes species.

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Extra resources for Biodiversity of West African Forests: An Ecological Atlas of Woody Plant Species

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The primary factors separating vegetation types are probably effective soil depth, soil texture and water supply (Markham & Babbedge 1979). g. termite species) and by cultivation and settlements (Fairhead & Leach 1996, 1998). Fire Fire is a key element in understanding the distribution and dynamics of savannas and the transition zone with forests. Although natural fires occur through ignition of the herbaceous layer of savannas via lightning, sparks from falling rocks and fermentation (Phillips 1974), almost all savanna fires are currently anthropogenic of origin.

These vegetation types share a dense herbaceous layer made mainly of hemicryptophytic gramineous plant species, but whose tree cover may vary widely, ranging from almost pure grasslands, through savannas, to woodlands. 1 An example of a forest-savanna mosaic: Reserve de Lamto, south of the V-Baoulé, central Côte d’Ivoire. 1). Their structure and floristic composition is very similar to those of the adjacent drier types of the lowland rainforest. In this chapter we describe the forest-savanna boundary at different spatial scales, and how its location has shifted in the past.

In west-central Ghana, the limit between continuous forest and forest savanna mosaic is congruent with substrate: savanna dominates on Voltaian rocks and the forest dominates on the Birrimian basement complex, on which soils are richer in clay and nutrients (Swaine et al. 1976, Swaine 1992). A similar situation is found in Côte d’Ivoire, at the eastern side of the V-Baoulé where the boundary between continuous rainforest and forestsavanna mosaic corresponds to the boundary between schistous and granitic substrates, the former giving rise to soils being also richer in clay and having thus a better water-holding capacity (Spichiger 1975).

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