What is vegetation?. Vegetation is the plant cover of the earth surface; it is in form of trees, shrubs, grasses and legumes.
Nigerian Vegetation is made up of three types, there are:
- Forest vegetation (possesses significant tree cover)
- Savanna vegetation (possesses insignificant tree cover, it has scattered trees with grasses in between)
- Montana vegetation (found in mountain areas with high proportion of grasses).
Forest vegetation is made up of tall trees with aerial and buttress roots, the vegetation is evergreen
TYPES OF FOREST VEGETATION
MANGROVE SWAMP FOREST
It is found in the delta and coastal parts of Nigeria such as Port Harcourt, Warri, Uyo and Calabar.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SWAMP FOREST
- It has tall, woody trees
- It has aerial roots
- It has evergreen trees with a broad leaves
- Trees found include white mangrove and red mangrove
it is found in the southern parts of Nigeria such as Benin, Sapele, Akure, Ibadan Abeokuta e.t.c.
CHARACTERISTIC OF RAIN FOREST
- It has tall trees with buttress roots evergreen and broad leaves
- Trees exists in different heights; these are bottom, middle and upper layers
- Presence of climbers, creepers, epiphytes and parasitic plants
- It has numerous heterogenous spicies of trees such as Iroko, Obeche, Mahogany and African walnut
Savanna means grasslands, the savanna vegetation in Nigeria is divided into; Guinea Savanna, Sudan Savanna and Sahel Savanna.
TYPES OF SAVANNA VEGETATION
This is found in Enugu, Lokoja, Ilorin, Markudi, Osogbo, etc.
CHARATERISTICS OF GUINEA SAVANNA
- It consist of tall grasses and few scattered trees
- The trees are deciduous
- The trees have tiny leaves to reduce transpiration
- Grasses are green during rainy season and turn brown in the dry season
- The trees found in these areas are: Oil palm, dum palm, shea butter, Isoberlina etc
- It is the largest of all vegetation belts in Nigeria
This vegetation belt is found in Sokoto, Kastina, Kaduna, Kano, Dutse, Bauchi, etc.
CHARATERISTICS OF SUDAN SAVANNA
- It has short numerous grasses
- Presence of scattered and short deciduous trees
- Some trees have thorns while others have thick barks
- Plant species includes acacia, date palm, silk cotton plants, baobab
This is found in Maduguri and Damaturu (north belt of the country)
CHARACTERISTICS OF SAHEL SAVANNA
- It has short scanty grasses
- Presence of short and tough shrub/trees
- Grasses are fewer, poorer and in patches
- It has many drought resistant and scatterd plants
- Plant spicies are acacia, gum Arabic, date palm and baobab
- Sparse rainfall discouraging cultivation of crops.
This is found in highlands areas like Jos and Adamawa with high population of grasses.
CHARACTERISTICS OF MONTANE VEGETATION
- It is associated with highland areas
- It has varied trees at its windward (facing the wind) side.
- It has grasses at its leeward (sheltered from the wind) side.
- Presence of short, scattered and deciduous trees.
- It is highly populated with grasses.
IMPORTANCE OF VEGATATION
- It serves as a source of food
- Timbers are obtained from the forest
- Leaves and grass are used in roofing
- Roots, barks and leaves are used for medicinal purpose
- Sources of raw materials for industries
- Provision of sites for tourism
- Source of employment for hunters, lumbermen, forest officers, etc.
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