Just north of the forest-savanna transition zone of West Africa, there are many examples of unusually dense tall woody stands of vegetation surrounding local villages in what is an otherwise open (savanna) type landscape. Although the human actions through which ‘forest islands’ are created are now well established, the underlying biogeochemical mechanisms behind this intriguing phenomenon remain to be elucidated. The SOFIIA Research Consortium is working to provide this information.

SOFIIA which stands for ‘Soils of Forest Islands in Africa’ is a multidisciplinary Consortium of experienced scientists from Imperial College London (ICL), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Nigeria and Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA), Burkina Faso. The Consortium consists of ecologists, soil scientists, remote sensing experts and vegetation modellers with integratable skills sets. The Project which is being funded by the Royal Society – DFID has strong impetus for capacity building in soil geochemistry in Africa.




PMB, Agric Engineering, KNUST

Ashanti Region, Ghana



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