Guinean forest-savanna mosaic

Content Cover Image

Gambia River, Gambia. Source: WWF/Kate Newman

The Guinean forest-savanna mosaic runs through a portion of West Africa, dividing the Guinean rainforest from the West Sudanian savanna. The interlacing forest, savanna, and grassland habitats are highly dynamic, and the proportion of forest versus other habitat components has varied greatly over time.

These forest-savanna ecotones may offer critical habitat for differentiation and speciation. A number of large charismatic mammal species are found here, but national parks attract few visitors.

The protected areas system is under-funded and covers merely two percent of the area of this ecoregion.

Justification of ecoregion delineation

caption Guinea baboon (Papio hamadryas papio), Senegal. (Photograph by Pascal Dubois)

The Guinean Forest-Savanna Mosaic ecoregion lies between the western lowland rain forest ecoregions and the Western Sudanian Savanna. The ecoregion boundaries follow the ‘mosaic of lowland rain forest and secondary grassland’ vegetation unit of White. It is distinct from the Northern Congolian Forest-Savanna Mosaic ecoregion as it is largely separated by the Cameroonian Highlands, which acts a range limit for several forest-savanna mosaic taxa. The southern boundary is defined by the transition to more continuous forest cover. The northern boundary was verified with one kilometer (km) classified land cover data derived from AVHRR satellite imagery.

Additional Information on this Ecoregion

caption Gambia River, near Mbandaka, Gambia. (Photograph by Kate Newman)

Further Reading

  • Loveland, T.R., B.C. Reed, J.F. Brown, D.O. Ohlen, Z. Zhu, L. Yang, and J.W. Merchant. 2000. Development of a global land cover characteristics database and IGBP DISCover from 1 km AVHRR data]. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 21:1303-1330.
  • White, F. 1983. The vegetation of Africa, a descriptive memoir to accompany the UNESCO/AETFAT/UNSO Vegetation Map of Africa (3 Plates, Northwestern Africa, Northeastern Africa, and Southern Africa, 1:5,000,000). UNESCO, Paris. ISBN: 9231019554

Disclaimer: This article is contains some information that was originally published by the World Wildlife Fund. Topic editors and authors for the Encyclopedia of Earth have edited its content and added new information. The use of information from the World Wildlife Fund should not be construed as support for or endorsement by that organization for any new information added by EoE personnel, or for any editing of the original content.




Fund, W. (2014). Guinean forest-savanna mosaic. Retrieved from


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