Endemic flora



Jollydora armandui, fruit. Endangered Liberian endemic.



Endemic flora



Liberia lies in the centre of the most important botanical biodiversity hotspot west of Nigeria- a hotspot reaching from eastern Sierra Leone to southwest Côte d’Ivoire and down from Guinée-Forestière to the Atlantic coast of Liberia.



This hotspot is thought to exist because of the high rainfall and weak dry season in much of the area and the many hills and low mountains, especially in the north and north-east. During the latest ice-age (ca 100,000 years to 11,500 years ago), when the forest cover in Africa was much more limited than today, there were at least two large forested areas remaining in Liberia, one in the north and north-east around the Nimba and Wutivu mountains and one close to the sea. Endemic species from the evergreen forest like Alsodeiopsis villosa, Gilbertiodendron obliquum, Heckeldora jongkindii, Jollydora armandui and Tetraberlinia tubmaniana must have found refuge in the coastal forests while species from the drier forests like Dactyladenia globosa, Jasminum cuneatum, Pavetta micheliana and Pavetta platycalyx survived in the forest on the slopes and near the streams of the mountains. Possibly these two refuge forest areas were connected in the west around what is now Gola Forest in Liberia and Sierra Leone because several other (near) endemics like Cola angustifolia, Dactyladenia whytei, Pseudoprosopis sericea and Sericanthe adamii, also found near the mountains or near the coast, are found there together.
During recent research conducted over the past 10 years, more and more local endemic and near-endemic plant species have been discovered in Liberia, increasingly underscoring the immense biodiversity values of her forests.



Posted in Flora of Liberia.

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