Distribution of tropical savannas, forests, and tree species in West Africa; drivers and underlying mechanisms

Organised by Forest Ecology and Forest Management

Mon 15 September 2014 09:00 to 11:00

Venue Gaia, gebouwnummer 101
Room 1
The mini-symposium is held on the occasion of the defense of FEM PhD student Lucy Amissah and focuses on  one of the global hotspots of diversity; West Africa. We have invited a number of eminent speakers from Wageningen and abroad, amongst which Professor Mike Swaine, a renowned tropical forest ecologists.

The mini-symposium first addresses the drivers that determine the position of the forest savanna-boundary, then shows the main patterns in species composition within African forests, and finally focuses on drought performance, which is considered to be one of the main mechanisms that influences the distribution of tropical tree species. Insight into these vegetation drivers and plant responses is imperative to predict the impact of future climate change on tropical forests.


  • Dr. Elmar Veenendaal (NCP-WUR):
    Drivers of the forest- savanna boundary  with special reference to West Africa;  Results from the Tropical Biomes in Transition project
  • Dr. Mike Swaine (Emeritus Professor University of Aberdeen): Patterns of tree species composition across tropical African forests
  • MSc. Lucy Amissah (FEM-WUR and FORIG-Ghana): Rainfall seasonality, seedling performance and their effects on the distribution of Ghanaian tree species

The mini-symposium is followed by the PhD defense of Lucy Amissah in the Aula of Wageningen University (13.30-14.45 hrs.) for which you are cordially invited. Lucy will defend her PhD thesis titled: Functional traits, drought performance and the distribution of tree species in tropical forests of Ghana