Vulnerability of forest resources to global climate change: Case study of Cameroon and Ghana

Robert K. Dixon, James A. Perry, Elizabeth L. Vanderklein, Francois Hiol Hiol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

The response and feedbacks of forest systems to global environmental change, including the ecosystems of West Africa, are expected to be profound. A comparative assessment of current and future forest distribution in Cameroon and Ghana in response to land-use change and global climate change was completed. From 1970 to 1990, the forest area of Cameroon and Ghana declined dramatically due to harvesting and degradation, averaging 0.6 and 1.3% each year, respectively. The areal distribution of West African forest systems is projected to shift 5 to 15%, based on 4 General Circulation Model (GCM) scenarios and the Holdridge Life Zone Classification System. Loss of forest habitat due to destruction, degradation and climate change is projected to increase animal and plant species loss. Adaptation of evergreen and deciduous forest systems to global environmental change poses many challenges for Cameroon and Ghana. Application of low-input, indigenous resource management options, which have been practiced on a sustained basis for centuries, may be a feasible adaptation goal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalClimate Research
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 19 1996

Keywords

  • Cameroon
  • Carbon pools and flux
  • Forest systems
  • Ghana
  • Mitigation

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