West African Forests

Our work in Africa commenced in 2011 and is currently focused in two countries, Ghana (West Africa) and Gabon (Atlantic Central Africa). We have strong collaborative partnerships with the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) and Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux (ANPN) in Ghana and Gabon, respectively.

These countries were selected as contrasting samples of the West African (Guinean) and Congo Basin forests and we have three study sites in Ghana and three sites in Gabon. We are currently in the process of establishing multiple intensive carbon monitoring plots at each of the sites, with 14 in Ghana and 6 in Gabon. In both countries, our sites encompass contrasting wet and dry plots as well as a logging chronosequence, including six plots in Ghana located within a logging concession site that will be monitored through the logging process.

These 21 intensive research plots in Africa follow the RAINFOR protocol and will complement our ongoing 17 sites across Amazonia that are part of the RAINFOR forest inventory network. This research will help to address hypotheses on carbon production, respiration and allocation in tropical forests, while generating a powerful simultaneous multi-site comparison using a uniform methodology between African, Amazonian and Asian tropical forests.

Where are we working?

Bullet_red - Site Bullet_blue - Plot Bullet_yellow - Field station

Photos and images

Uploaded 22 Jan 2015 by Sam Moore. Copyright © 2023.

A few snaps from our recent soil sampling campaigns in Ghana and Gabon late last year (2014). Nutrient samples were collected from cores and bulk density samples from soil pits at regular depth intervals down to 2 meters. All samples are now either in transit, or in the Leeds University soil labs for analysis, following the Rainfor standard protocols which will enable pan-tropical comparisons. Detailed soil profiles were also taken from each soil pit, of which we had 2 at each of our 3 field sites in Ghana and 3 field sites in Gabon. A huge thank you to both the Ghana and Gabon field teams for all the hard work!

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  • Thumb_malhi_pic_forest

    Yadvinder Malhi

    I am Professor of Ecosystem Science at Oxford University.
    I lead the Ecosystems Programme at the Environmental Change Institute, with a focus of understanding the functioning of tropical forests and...

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    Vianet Mihindou

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  • Thumb_sam_0693

    Sam Moore

    I am a Post-doc at the University of Oxford, School of Geography and the Environment, Environmental Change Institute and I am currently implementing studies of carbon allocation and cycling at...

  • Thumb_sdc14680

    Akwasi Duah-Gyamfi

    I am a Research Scientist with the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) with particular interest in the role of tropical forests in global carbon cycle/budget as well as population...

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