The local biotic communities in Nigeria can be grouped into two major zones. These are:
1. Forest Zone
2. Savanna Zone
1. Forest Zone: The forest zone is made up of vegetation having mainly trees and consist of the following local biotic communities:
i. Mangrove swamp forest (salt and fresh water swamp).
ii. Tropical rain forest.
i. Mangrove Swamp Forest
Location: The Mangrove swamp forest is found in areas along the coast especially in states like Delta, Cross River, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Ogun and Lagos.
Characteristics Of Swamp Forest
1. It has tall woody trees.
2. Plants mainly have aerial roots.
3. It has evergreen trees with broad leaves.
4. Animals found in the biotic community include tilapia fish, oyesters, crabs, snakes, birds and kingfishers.
5. Common plant species found are white mangrove, red mangrove, raffia palm, coconut, etc.
ii. Tropical Rainforest
Location: This biotic community can be found in states like Edo, Delta, Ondo, Imo, Abia, Lagos, Ogun, Anambra, Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa-Ibom.
Characteristics Of Tropical Rainforest
1. The vegetation has tall trees with buttress roots, evergreen and broad leaves.
2. The trees exist in different heights or layers, i.e, bottom or lower, middle and upper layers.
3. It has numerous climbers, creepers, epiphytes and parasitic plants.
4. It has little undergrowth due to canopy formed by tall trees.
5. Plant species include Iroko, Obeche, Mahogany, African walnut, Opepe, ebony, etc.
6. Animals commonly found include monkeys, birds, snakes, chameleon, squirrel, etc.
2. Savanna Zone: The savanna zone is made up of mainly grasses and is further subdivided into savanna belts or biotic communities which are:
i. Southern guinea savanna
ii. Northen guinea savanna
iii. Sahel savanna.
i. Southern Guinea Savanna
Location: This biotic community is found in states like Enugu, Kogi, Benue, Kwara, Oyo, Ebonyi, Osun and Ekiti states.
Characteristics Of Southern Guinea Savanna
1. It is the largest of all the biotic community in Nigeria.
2. It has moderate rainfall of between 100 to 150cm.
3. It has grasses.
4. It has tall trees with broad leaves.
5. Important animals commonly found in the biome include antelopes, lions, leopards, zebra, etc.
ii. Northern Guinea Savanna
Location: This biome is found in states like Plateau, Kaduna, Bauchi, Niger, Taraba, Adamawa and Kano states.
Characteristics Of Northern Guinea Savanna
1. It has low rainfall of about 50-100cm per annum.
2. It has scattered and short deciduous trees.
3. It has short but numerous grasses.
4. Some of the trees have thorns while others have thick barks.
5. Common animals include snakes, lizards, deer, lions, leopards, antelopes, etc.
iii. Sahel Savanna
Location: The local biotic community is found only in the extreme northern parts of Nigeria such as Bornu, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano and Jigawa.
Characteristics Of Sahel Savanna
1. The biome has high temperature and very low rainfall (below 50cm per annum).
2. It has short and scanty grasses.
3. It also has short and tough shrubs or trees.
4. Grasses are fewer, poorer and in patches.
5. Important plant species include acacia, gum arabic, date palm.
Location: This biome is located at the northern borders of Sokoto, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe and Bornu States.
Characteristics Of Desert
1. A desert has little or no rainfall in most of the year.
2. It has high temperature and very low humidity.
3. It has fewer grasses and shrubs.
4. The plants have special features which enable them to live in desert, e.g. Absence of leaves, swollen and succulent stems, long roots, etc.
5. Common examples of trees are baobab abd the cacti trees.