Biomes | Mangrove Swamps, Tropical Rainforest, Savanna, World Biomes

Biomes are extensive natural terrestrial ecosystems distinguished by their predominant vegetation. The composition of plant life, including factors like densely packed tall trees in a forest biome or scattered shrubs in a savanna biome, characterizes these terrestrial ecosystems. The type of vegetation present in a biome is determined by climatic elements such as rainfall, relative […]

Biomes are extensive natural terrestrial ecosystems distinguished by their predominant vegetation. The composition of plant life, including factors like densely packed tall trees in a forest biome or scattered shrubs in a savanna biome, characterizes these terrestrial ecosystems. The type of vegetation present in a biome is determined by climatic elements such as rainfall, relative humidity, temperature, wind, and light.

 

Local biomes specific to Nigeria encompass the mangrove swamp, tropical rainforest, and various savanna types (northern and southern Guinea savanna, Sudan savanna, and Sahel savanna).

 

Mangrove Swamps:

Located in tropical coastal regions and river mouths, mangrove swamps consist of small, evergreen, broad-leaved trees growing in shallow, brackish water or wet soil. Notable in Nigeria’s delta region, these swamps experience a hot and wet climate with an annual rainfall exceeding 250cm and temperatures around 26°C.

 

Tropical Rainforest:

Situated between the equator and latitudes 5-10°N and S, tropical rainforests in Nigeria (e.g., Edo, Delta, Ondo, Imo, Lagos, Rivers) exhibit characteristics such as lowland terrain, hot and wet climates, broad-leaved evergreen trees, and a rich diversity of epiphytes and wood climbers. Annual rainfall and temperatures hover around 200cm and 27°C, respectively.

 

Savanna:

Tropical grasslands in Africa, savannas are flat expanses dominated by grasses. In Nigeria, there are various types:

  1. South Guinea Savanna, the largest in Nigeria, features tall grasses with scattered deciduous trees (e.g., Enugu, Kogi, Benue).
  2. Northern Guinea Savanna has scattered deciduous trees with short grasses (e.g., plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi).
  3. Sudan Savanna exhibits shorter and more scattered grasses (e.g., Kano, Borno, Sokoto).
  4. Sahel Savanna, with high temperatures and low rainfall, has short, scanty grasses and drought-resistant plants (e.g., Borno, Kastina, Sokoto).

 

World Biomes:

Temperature and rainfall play pivotal roles in determining world biomes, which encompass tropical rainforests, temperate forests, coniferous forests, temperate shrublands, savannas, temperate grasslands, deserts, tundras, and mountain vegetation.

 

Temperate Forests:

Characterized by broad-leaved deciduous trees shedding leaves in winter, temperate forests have a moderately wet climate with dry or cold seasons.

 

Coniferous Forests:

Defined by needle-leaved evergreen conifers like pines and firs, coniferous forests have few trees, a tall upper storey, and a forest floor covered in conifer needles. They experience cool temperatures, light rainfall, and snow.

 

Temperate Shrubland:

Comprising drought-resistant shrubs and dwarf trees (e.g., marquis), temperate shrublands have a temperate climate with low rainfall.

 

Temperate Grassland:

Featuring perennial grasses on fertile soil supporting grazing mammals, temperate grasslands have a moderately dry climate with cold winters and hot summers.

 

Savanna:

Tropical grasslands with scattered trees, often on infertile soil, savannas experience a moderately dry climate with a warm dry season and a hot rainy season.

 

Desert:

Characterized by very sparse vegetation and succulent perennials with deep root systems, deserts occur in tropical, temperate, and afro-alpine regions with less than 25 cm annual rainfall.

 

Tundra:

Treeless marshy vegetation consisting mainly of dwarf shrubs, grasses, lichen, and moss characterizes the tundra, with a cold climate featuring long icy winters and very short summers.

 

Mountain Vegetation:

Evergreen rainforests on mountain slopes are less luxuriant than tropical rainforests. Afro-alpine vegetation occurs at heights above 3000m, featuring heath, grasses, and sedges.

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