Project

Effects of Climate change on regeneration of selected tree species in tropical forest of Ghana

Predictions of global climate change have suggested a drier climate for West Africa, including Ghana. Assessment of temperature and precipitation trends over the past four decades for Ghana has indicated a rising temperature and declining precipitation in synchrony with global predictions. These changes in climatic factors are likely to shape the dynamics of the tropical forest ecosystems in this region.

Predictions of global climate change have suggested a drier climate for West Africa, including Ghana. Assessment of temperature and precipitation trends over the past four decades for Ghana has indicated a rising temperature and declining precipitation in synchrony with global predictions. These changes in climatic factors are likely to shape the dynamics of the tropical forest ecosystems in this region.

Water availability is one of the major limiting factors in the composition and distribution of forests. In view of current trends in climate and predictions, the distribution of species that are drought sensitive are likely to be shifted, notably in Ghana where the forest belt located southwards is clearly distinct from the dry savannah landscape located northwards. Presently in the tropics, and Ghana in particular, there is limited knowledge of ecosystem and individual species response to climate change. Such knowledge is critical for species whose distribution is restricted.

Aims

The study objectives are to determine the effects of changes in environmental factors on tree regeneration and the underlying mechanism for selected tree species. Field studies and experiments will be used to determine sensitivity and tolerance of selected species to drought as well as morphological and physiological traits underlying such responses.

Results

Results of the study will improve predictions of the potential impacts of climate change on forests in Ghana.

Publications