FORESTS AND FORESTRYObjectives: Students should be able to 1. Define forest and forestry 2. Classify forest and identity some important forest trees and animals . 3. Draw the map of Nigeria and show the various-vegetation zones. 4. Outline the importance of forest 5.
Enumerate forest product^ and their uses.
Meaning of forest and forestryA forest is an area of land covered with trees, shrubs and other plants. Forests are very common the Southern part of Nigeria because of the high rainfall in the area. Forestry is that branch of agriculture which deals with the control and management of forest and forest resources. 10.2 Classification of forest A forest may be natural; established or regenerated. A natural forest is the one often called virgin forest which no man has tampered with. This can be found in some forest reserves in Nigeria.
original bush has been cleared. This is common in areas where shifting cultivation of bush fallowing is practiced. Also, planting of forest trees on cultivated farmlands gives rise to regenerated forest. This system is called Taungya system.
Natural forest can further be divided into: (a) Mangrove forest (b) Swamp forest (c) Rain forest 1. Mangrove forest This is found in the coastal areas of Nigeria. It consists of trees and shrubs which produce many stilt roots which are sub-merged in water or mud, thus enabling them to survive Mangrove forest is found in salt water coast. 2. Swamp forest This is found after the salt water mangrove forest, where water (i supplied to their roots from lakes, streams and rivers. 3. Rain forest This occupies the areas between the coastal region and savanna region where annual rainfall is between 150 cm to 200 cm. It is made up of tall trees, shrubs and herbs of various species. Continued cultivation of this forest type is gradually giving way to savanna in Nigeria.
10.3. Some important forest trees and animals
I. Forest Trees: (a) Mahogany (Khaya ivorensis) (b) Iroko (Chlorophora excelsa) (c) African Walnut(lovoa klaineana) (d) Obeche (Triplochiton scleroxylon (e) Opepe (Sarocephalus diderrichii) (f) Gmelina (g) Black afara (Terminalia superba) Some crops wild in the forest. These include: (a) Mango (Magnifera indica) (b) Kola (kola spp) (c) Cocoa (Theobroma Cacao) (d) Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis) (e) Rubber (Hevea bmziliensis).
2. Forest Animals: (a) Elephant (Loxodonta agricana) (b) Green Monkey (Phacopithecus aethiopicus) (c) Grass Cutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) (d) Antelope (Neotragus spp) (e) Bush fowl (Gallus spp) (f) African giant rat (Rabbit) (Crycetomys ganbianus) (g) Snail (Archachatina morgunata) Some animals from the forest are used by man at home as.pets. Examples include monkey, parrot.
1.4.1 Vegetation zones of Nigeria DIAGRAM Figure 3.10.2: Map of Nigeria showing the different Vegetation Zones KEY Sahel Savanna Sudan Savanna Guinea Savanna Rain Forest Mangrove and Fresh Water Swamp Forest
1. Mangrove and fresh water swamp forest This occupies the delta part of Nigeria with heavy rainfall of up to 200 cm and more per annum. The major activities in this region include lumbering (felling of timbers) and fishing. Swamp rice can also be grown in the area.
2. Rain forest This occurs in the Southern part of Nigeria lying above the mangrove and fresh water Swamp Forest. The annual rainfall of this one is about 150 cm to 200 cm. This region consists of tall woody trees and strong undergrowth. Examples of trees found here include iioko, obeche, opepe, mahogany, afara, etc.
There is a high degree of farming activity in this region. Crops commonly grown are yam, cocoyam, cassava, maize, rice, plantain, cocoa, rubber tree, oil palm, kola, mango, citrus, etc. Animals include dwarf goat, sheep, pigs, cattle and poultry. Fish ponds are also kept.
Guinea savanna This zone is cutting deep into the rain forest due to continued cultivation. Such areas are now referred to as derived savanna. The Guinea Savanna area is made up of tall strong grasses Interspersed with trees of moderate heights. Aanual rainfall is about 100cm to 150cm. This zone is the largest vegetation zone in Nigeria. It is an area of intensive agricultural activity. Crops grown include all cereals, legumes such as cowpeas and groundnuts, cotton, yam, cassava and potatoes Livestock include cattle, goat, sheep, poultry and others.
4. Sudan savanna
This zone is covered with more grasses and short scattered trees and has an annual rainfall of 50 cm to 75 cm. Agricultural activity in this area centres mainly on cattle, sheep and goat rearing. Poultry is also kept while donkeys, camels and horses are equally reared. Crops grown are mainly sugar cane, millet and sorghum. Vegetables particularly carrot and tomatoes are grown along river beds, streams and in areas with irrigation facilities
5. Sahel savanna This occupies the extreme north-east of Nigeria with an annual rainfall of about 15 cm to 50 cm. It is characterized by feathery grasses and highly scattered spiny shrubs (thorn bushes). Animals are mostly reared here during the rainy season while drought' resistant crops like dwarf sorghum and millet are cultivated.
(i) Forest regulations:
These are laws made by the government that helps in conserving forest trees. The laws help to control the cutting down of timber trees and the killing of animals in forest reserve.
(ii) Selective exploitation: This is a practice whereby only mature timber trees are cut down for use. The young ones are allowed to grow to maturity.
(iii) Regeneration of forest: This is whereby cut trees in the forest are replaced. It involves planting new timber trees or the stumps of cut down trees are allowed to regrow.
(i) Afforestation Programmes: This involves the-planting of-trees in areas where there have not been trees. It protects the soil against erosion. It it can also prevent desert encroachment.
(ii) Deforestation: This is the cutting down of trees in the forest without replacing them. Deforestation is mainly due to farming activities in southern part of Nigeria. In the north, it is mainly due to overgrazing.
(iii) Taungya system: It involves the growing of timber seedlings and enable crops on the same piece of land at a time. It is the integration of annual cropping with early stages of forest establishment.
Importance of Forest
1. Forest provides timber trees used for furniture work, shelter and other purposes.
2. It is a source of wild animals used as meat by man.
3. It provides income to people through hunting, felling of timbers and sale of other products.
4. Forest cover helps to protect the soil against erosion.
5. Forest helps to increase soil fertility through the decay of the leaves of plants.
6. Forest has influence on local climate as evaporation/ transpiration from plants can result to cloud formation and then rainfall. Forest also intercepts moisture ladden wind resulting in relief rainfall.
7. The forest is a source of wild fruits, nuts, and flowers.
8. It is a source of fuel e.g. fire wood.
9. Forest is a source of fibre and ropes.
10. Forest is a source of medicinal herbs.
11. Forest provides employment for people such as forest guards.
12. It is a source of revenue to government through the issuance of licenses for timber felling.
13. Forest, especially forest reserves can serve as tourist attraction.
14. Some forest leaves could be used in preserving form produce, e.g., Kola nuts
10.7 Forest products and their uses
Plant Products Timber Trees, herbs and shrubs (Leaves roots and barks) Gums Dyes Charcoal, dead wood Fibres Ropes and canes Fruits, nuts and vegetables Uses Planks, furniture, paper, export. Medicine, electrical poles, broad leaves for shelter, for wrapping. For making industrial gums. For dying clothes and other materials. For fuel (making fire), for heating. For making bags. For weaving baskets, making chairs. For food. Animal products Animal Skin Tusks from elephant feathers from parrot, etc. Uses For meat, scientific study, pets, ceremonies. For leather works, e.g. bag, drums, etc. For decorations, trudilior a ceremonies. export.
STUDY QUESTIONS 1. Define the terms forest and forestry 2. Suite and explain the different classes of forest 3. Draw a map of Nigeria showing the different vegetation zones 4. Enumerate the importance of forest in Nigeria .5. List the products that can be got from the forest and State their uses. 6. (a) What is natural forest? Give two examples. (b) List six examples of some important forest trees.
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