Soil and vegetation in savannas and light forests of Africa

Unlike poor red-yellow ferralite soils of moist equatorial forest, savannah soils contain more humus, as in the dry period plant debris decomposes slowly. Red ferrallite soils formed on the border with forests. Then they are replaced by red-brown soils. Closer to the deserts, they gradually become less fertile reddish-brown. The vegetation of savannas is not as diverse as in the moist equatorial forests, but it also strikes with its wealth. However, it gradually becomes poorer as it moves away from the equator due to the longer duration of the dry season.

So, close to the zone of variable-moist forests formed high-grass savannah. There is a higher and denser grassy cover, more trees, among them the olive tree karite, palm doom. There is a high – up to 5 m – elephant grass, etc. Galley forests stretching along the river valleys narrow strips resemble damp equatorial forests.

The farther north and south, the poorer the vegetation. This savanna is called typical,

or dry. Rain does not happen for six months. The grass is already smaller, only 1-1.5 m, and the trees are represented by several types of acacias with a dense crown in the form of umbrellas, and also tree-like milk. The baobab grows here too.

Baobab is one of the sacred symbols of Africa. According to scientists, the tree lives 4-5 thousand years. This is one of the thickest trees on the planet – up to 45 m in girth. The height of baobabs usually does not exceed 25 m. During the rainy season, the tree becomes green, and dumps leaves in a drought to save more moisture. Baobabs do not burn. Their trunks, almost hermetically protected by a thick gray bark, sometimes hold up to 120 liters of water.

The baobab fruit ripens at the beginning of the dry season, they are eagerly flavored by monkeys.

On the border with semi-deserts, desert savannahs are formed, where grasses and trees are better adapted to the dry climate, which here lasts most of the year. Predominately turf grasses, prickly bushes, molochae, aloe. If the dry season lasts more than 8-9 months, some trees die. Their place is occupied by bushes. This savannah looks like a desert. In northern Africa, on the border with the Sahara, it is called the Sahel, and in South Africa by the Bush

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Soil and vegetation in savannas and light forests of Africa