By L. Poorter, F. Bongers, F.N'. Kouamý, W.D. Hawthorne
Read or Download Biodiversity of West African Forests: An Ecological Atlas of Woody Plant Species (Cabi Publishing) PDF
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Extra resources for Biodiversity of West African Forests: An Ecological Atlas of Woody Plant Species (Cabi Publishing)
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.
The forest-savanna transition Main determinants of forest and savanna distribution Present distribution of forest and savanna can be interpreted by looking for parallels with environmental conditions at various spatial scales. Among them, climate and edaphic conditions determine water availability and are of paramount importance in the competition between the two vegetation types. The outcome of competition is modified by disturbances such as fire and shifting cultivation. In the following paragraphs we discuss these main environmental factors, and how they operate at different spatial and temporal scales.
Since 1978, the State Domain forest is divided into a permanent domain of the State (either “forêts classées” or forests awaiting classification) and a rural forest domain (space under economic utilisation). The establishment of legislation aimed at saving and keeping a forest cover has not prevented the clearing of forests (at times complete) which are nominally classified, even if a certain number of important tracts have been effectively protected until today (Taï, Yapo). In many cases, the law simply confirmed the state of affairs by declassifying forests that were overexploited or converted to agricultural land.