Biology Keypoints: Local (Nigerian) Biomes; Nigeria, located in West Africa, boasts a remarkable diversity of biomes due to its geographical location, climate variations, and diverse topography. From lush tropical rainforests to vast deserts and highland plateaus, the country is home to a myriad of unique ecosystems. In this article, we will explore the local biomes of Nigeria, their characteristics, and their significance in shaping the distinct regions of the country.
Biology Keypoints: Local (Nigerian) Biomes
a. Tropical Rainforest:
The tropical rainforest biome is characterized by abundant rainfall, high temperatures, and dense vegetation. In Nigeria, the southern part of the country, particularly the Niger Delta region and areas along the Atlantic coast harbors these majestic rainforests. The lush green canopy, towering trees, and diverse flora and fauna make this biome a vital ecological treasure. The rainforest biome provides a habitat for numerous endemic species, supports local communities, and contributes to climate regulation through carbon sequestration.
b. Guinea Savanna (Southern and Northern):
The Guinea savanna is a transitional biome between the tropical rainforest and the Sudan Savanna. In southern Nigeria, this biome covers regions such as Ogun, Oyo, Osun, and parts of Edo and Delta states. It is characterized by a mixture of grassland and scattered trees. The southern Guinea savanna receives a higher amount of rainfall compared to its northern counterpart, resulting in taller grasses and more extensive tree cover. This biome supports agricultural activities and is known for its fertile soils.
In northern Nigeria, the Guinea savanna extends across states such as Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, and Sokoto. Here, the biome features a drier climate with shorter grasses and fewer trees. The northern Guinea savanna is more prone to drought and is associated with nomadic herding and subsistence agriculture.
c. Sudan Savanna:
The Sudan savanna biome stretches across the middle belt of Nigeria, covering states such as Kwara, Niger, Plateau, and Benue. It is characterized by a mix of grassland and scattered trees, with a semi-arid climate. The Sudan savanna experiences a distinct wet and dry season, with rainfall ranging from 600mm to 1,200mm annually. This biome supports agriculture, with crops such as millet, sorghum, and cowpea being cultivated. The presence of rivers, including Niger and Benue, further enhances agricultural activities in this region.
While Nigeria does not have a true desert biome, it is important to acknowledge the presence of arid regions within the country. In the far northern part of Nigeria, notably in parts of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states, the landscape transitions into semi-desert conditions. These areas experience very low rainfall, extreme temperatures, and sparse vegetation. Adapted flora and fauna, such as thorny shrubs and drought-tolerant grasses, can be found in these desert-like regions.
e. Highlands of Montane Forests and Grasslands (Obudu, Jos, Mambilla Plateau):
The highland areas of Obudu, Jos, and Mambilla Plateau form unique biomes in Nigeria characterized by cooler temperatures and distinct vegetation. These montane forests and grasslands are found at higher altitudes and exhibit characteristics different from the surrounding lowland regions. The Obudu Plateau in Cross River State, Jos Plateau in Plateau State, and Mambilla Plateau in Taraba State are renowned for their scenic landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and recreational tourism potential.
These highland biomes support unique ecosystems, including montane forests with a variety of tree species and grasslands that provide grazing grounds for livestock. The cooler temperatures and abundant water resources make them suitable for agricultural activities such as tea and coffee cultivation.
Applying the Knowledge of Local Biomes in Determining the Characteristics of Different Regions of Nigeria:
Understanding the features and characteristics of these local biomes enables us to determine the distinct qualities of different regions in Nigeria. The presence of tropical rainforests along the southern coast contributes to high biodiversity, abundant rainfall, and a dense network of rivers. The Guinea savanna in both southern and northern Nigeria facilitates agricultural practices, with variations in precipitation influencing crop choices and land use patterns.
The Sudan savanna, with its semi-arid climate, shapes the agricultural practices and economy of the middle belt. The arid regions in the far north contribute to unique challenges and adaptations for the communities living there. Lastly, the highland biomes of Obudu, Jos, and Mambilla Plateau offer cooler climates, fertile soils, and scenic landscapes, attracting tourism and providing opportunities for specific agricultural activities.
By recognizing the diverse biomes and their associated characteristics, policymakers, environmentalists, and communities can make informed decisions regarding conservation efforts, land use planning, and sustainable development strategies in different regions of Nigeria.
Nigeria’s local biomes encompass a rich tapestry of natural landscapes, each with its own distinct characteristics and significance. From the tropical rainforests of the south to the savannas, deserts, and highland plateaus, these biomes shape the environment, ecosystems, and human activities across the country. Recognizing and preserving the unique features of these biomes is crucial for maintaining biodiversity, supporting sustainable development, and ensuring the well-being of both nature and communities in Nigeria.