As we all know, the term “savanna” refers to tropical plains that never freeze and instead experience hot weather throughout the majority of the year (between 26 and 40 degrees Celsius, depending on the region). As a result, this environment is much more diversified and species-rich than temperate grasslands.
In Nigeria, savanna vegetation is very significant. Typically, grasses rule this area, which is encircled by trees. Savanna vegetation has a variety of important roles in Nigeria, including housing wildlife and supplying food, work, and clothing.
Importance of savanna vegetation in Nigeria
1. Natural Habitats
Animals have habitats thanks to natural vegetation. Give animals access to food, water, shelter, mate-finding possibilities, and some level of defense against predators.
Numerous wildlife species have a natural habitat in the savanna vegetation. The grass-dominated ecosystem of the savanna region makes it the ideal habitat for animals to live in, especially grazing mammals. These creatures coexist in an open space that is dotted with bushes, trees, and grass.
There are many different kinds of animals that live in the savanna. Herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores are among these creatures.
For thousands of years, people have constructed homes, furniture, and vehicles out of plant materials like trees. We have made clothing, tools, and weapons from plant materials like bark, cotton, or vines. We have heated ourselves with wood and cooked with it. Numerous medications are derived from plants. At least 75% of the people on the planet use plants or components of plants as medicine.
Farmers tamed or altered some wild plants over the years, including the forerunners of today’s wheat and corn. The plants altered and adapted over time, becoming simpler to grow. We consume foods derived from trees (nuts) and grasses (grains), sip liquids (tea and coffee) derived from bushes, and produce clothing from plant fibers like cotton. Various goods, including auto parts, can be produced using plant materials.
Plants use the sun’s energy to mix water and CO2 from the air during photosynthesis. It also produces oxygen and carbs. plants employ is the fuel for reproduction and growth. The oxygen is returned to the atmosphere by them. Humans and other animals breathe in oxygen. They require oxygen to stay alive.
4. Controlling global warming
Savannas are essential for regulating the climate and preserving biodiversity because they share tropical forests’ soils’ capacity to absorb pollution, but frequently to a lesser extent.
The majority of the net primary productivity (NPP) in savanna ecosystems is concentrated during and after the rainy season, when water is readily available for the plants and improves their food quality, resulting in an endless variety of wildlife (herbivores, carnivores, scavengers, and decomposers alike). As a result, savanna productivity can rival or even exceed that of other ecosystems.
Savannas are the least protected ecosystems because, despite their important function, they don’t receive as much attention as forests do. In fact, many people, including nature enthusiasts, prefer to discount the significance of savannas by labeling them as “empty,” “dull,” and “uninteresting.”
5. Savanna vegetation provides food for both human beings and animals
Since grasses make up a substantial amount of the savanna’s vegetation, they provide animals with high-quality food. The animals can digest this grass with ease. Farmers let their livestock roam free on the savanna while they looked for nourishment. Additionally, during the dry season, cattle are fed on the leaves of woody plants. These ruminant mammals consume tree and shrub leaves. Numerous animals rely on the seeds as sustenance during the dry season.
As a result, trees in the savanna make a significant contribution to Nigeria’s food and forage supply. Crop growing for human consumption is encouraged by the savanna vegetation. In this region, crops like maize, millet, rice, groundnuts, sorghum, beans, and others are farmed. These plants provide food for people. Meat is another food source found in the savanna.
Savanna vegetation are crucial spaces for leisure and relaxation all throughout the world. Camping in the woods, hiking or skiing on mountain trails, and swimming or boating in rivers and lakes are all popular pastimes. Since more people are choosing to travel to experience nature in numerous locations, including the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica, these links have encouraged ecotourism or tourism with minimum environmental effect.
7. Savanna Vegetation creates food for vegetation
There aren’t many savanna trees that can produce enough wood for building. In the savanna region, the only places to find this type of wood are those close to woods. The wood used to build houses comes from savanna woodland.
Farm tool handles are also made from wood sourced from savanna plants. Additionally, tools and household items are made from this wood. In rural areas, the wood is also utilized to build yam storage buildings and fences. Boats can also be made using the wood harvested from savanna trees.
8. Savanna vegetation supports job creation
The vegetation of the savanna offers work to hunters and lumberjacks. For cash, these lumberjacks remove trees from the savanna. Due to the existence of wild animals, which makes hunting advantageous to the savanna and improves the lifestyles of lumbermen and hunters, hunters can also profit from the area.
In the savanna area, beekeeping is another activity that people might engage in. Bees can be raised for honey production, and selling the honey can bring in some serious cash. Another profession that can be practiced in the savanna area is farming. People can engage in semi-commercial pastoral farming, commercial cattle subsidence, or commercial cattle rearing.
The savanna region’s agriculture, which includes the cultivation of rice, groundnuts, millets, and other crops, has led to the growth of processing and manufacturing businesses, including milk processing plants, grain mills, cotton gins, and other companies. The growth of these mills has significantly helped in the creation of jobs in the area.
Other occupations in the savanna include tour guides at tourist destinations, fishermen, oil extraction workers, wildlife conservationists, and so forth. Because many rural communities rely on the savanna for their resources and means of subsistence, the savanna is essential to the sustainability of their livelihoods.
9. Savanna vegetation is a source of fuel
Firewood, commonly referred to as “fuel wood,” is a common energy source in many Nigerian houses. They employ it when preparing meals for the family. This fuel wood is often used by food vendors. Fuel wood continues to be a popular choice for heating and cooking in many areas.
Due to the rise in the price of petroleum products, there has been an increase in the demand for fuel wood. Due to their high price, petroleum products are barely within the means of the impoverished. As a result, burning wood for fuel is now quite effective.
The trees that provide the fuel wood for fires are found in savanna vegetation. Due to the presence of woodland, wood extraction and charcoal burning have flourished. This has enhanced its significance for Nigeria.
10. Spiritual Relationship
The natural world holds spiritual significance for many people. Indigenous peoples, for instance, have a close relationship with the land. They place a great deal of value on the land. Aborigines hold a high regard for the land as the foundation of their values. Plants are used ceremonially by them.
Herbs used in medicine are primarily derived from plants found in the savanna region. These plants are employed in the treatment of many human illnesses and health issues. According to data from the World Health Organization, a significant portion of the Nigerian population uses herbal medicine.
Tourist attractions are situated among the savanna’s natural beauty. A significant human endeavor connected to Nigeria’s savanna vegetation is tourism. Tourists get the chance to view and record the unusual surroundings in this region. These tourists photograph the amazing scenery as well.
Tourists can view the creatures in their natural habitat on tours of these nature reserves. Savanna vegetation thus contributes significantly to Nigeria’s tourism sector and helps to generate income.
13. Revenue Generation
Savanna vegetation offers a considerable economic contribution to the nation through the money made from the wildlife industry, the timber industry, the tourism industry, and the commercial livestock farming industry.
- John Aina Ajibola has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.