Nigeria the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean; the federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular country. Nigeria has been home to states over the millennia; the modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures while practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms. Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960, it experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970. It thereafter alternated between democratically elected civilian governments and military dictatorships until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the 2011 presidential election considered the first to be reasonably free and fair.
Nigeria is referred to as the "Giant of Africa", owing to its large population and economy. With 186 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has the third-largest youth population in the world, after India and China, with more than 90 million of its population under age 18; the country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by 250 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa and Yoruba. The official language is English. Nigeria is divided in half between Christians, who live in the southern part of the country, Muslims, who live in the north. A minority of the population practice religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities; as of 2015, Nigeria is the world's 20th largest economy, worth more than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively. It overtook South Africa to become Africa's largest economy in 2014.
The 2013 debt-to-GDP ratio was 11 percent. Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank. However, it has a "low" Human Development Index, ranking 152nd in the world. Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are seen as the globe's next "BRIC-like" economies, it is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies set to become among the biggest in the world. Nigeria is a founding member of the African Union and a member of many other international organizations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and OPEC; the name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who married Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator; the origin of the name Niger, which applied only to the middle reaches of the Niger River, is uncertain. The word is an alteration of the Tuareg name egerew n-igerewen used by inhabitants along the middle reaches of the river around Timbuktu prior to 19th-century European colonialism.
The Nok civilisation of Northern Nigeria flourished between 500 BC and AD 200, producing life-sized terracotta figures that are some of the earliest known sculptures in Sub-Saharan Africa. Further north, the cities Kano and Katsina have a recorded history dating to around 999 AD. Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem–Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa; the Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people consolidated in the 10th century and continued until it lost its sovereignty to the British in 1911. Nri was ruled by the Eze Nri, the city of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture. Nri and Aguleri, where the Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umeuri clan. Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri. In West Africa, the oldest bronzes made using the lost-wax process were from Igbo-Ukwu, a city under Nri influence; the Yoruba kingdoms of Ife and Oyo in southwestern Nigeria became prominent in the 12th and 14th centuries, respectively.
The oldest signs of human settlement at Ife's current site date back to the 9th century, its material culture includes terracotta and bronze figures. Oyo, at its territorial zenith in the late 17th to early 18th centuries, extended its influence from western Nigeria to modern-day Togo; the Edo's Benin Empire is located in southwestern Nigeria. Benin's power lasted between the 19th centuries, their dominance reached further. At the beginning of the 19th century, Usman dan Fodio directed a successful jihad and created and led the centralised Fulani Empire; the territory controlled by the resultant state included much of modern-day northern and central Nigeria. For centuries, various peoples in modern-day Nigeria traded overland with traders from North Africa. Cities in the area became regional centres in a broad network of trade routes that spanned western and northern Africa. In the 16th century, Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin significant, direct trade with peoples of modern-day Nigeria, at the port they named Lago
Montane ecosystems refers to any ecosystem found in mountains. These ecosystems are affected by climate, which gets colder as elevation increases, they are stratified according to elevation. Dense forests are common at moderate elevations. However, as the elevation increases, the climate becomes harsher, the plant community transitions to grasslands or tundra; as elevation increases, the climate becomes cooler, due to a decrease in atmospheric pressure and the adiabatic cooling of airmasses. The change in climate by moving up 100 meters on a mountain is equivalent to moving 80 kilometers towards the nearest pole; the characteristic flora and fauna in the mountains tend to depend on elevation, because of the change in climate. This dependency causes life zones to form: bands of similar ecosystems at similar altitude. One of the typical life zones on mountains is the montane forest: at moderate elevations, the rainfall and temperate climate encourages dense forests to grow. Holdridge defines the climate of montane forest as having a biotemperature of between 6 and 12 °C, where biotemperature is the mean temperature considering temperatures below 0 °C to be 0 °C.
Above the elevation of the montane forest, the trees thin out in the subalpine zone, become twisted krummholz, fail to grow. Therefore, montane forests contain trees with twisted trunks; this phenomenon is observed due to the increase in the wind strength with the elevation. The elevation where trees fail to grow is called the tree line; the biotemperature of the subalpine zone is between 3 and 6 °C. Above the tree line the ecosystem is called the alpine zone or alpine tundra, dominated by grasses and low-growing shrubs; the biotemperature of the alpine zone is between 1.5 and 3 °C. Many different plant species live in the alpine environment, including perennial grasses, forbs, cushion plants and lichens. Alpine plants must adapt to the harsh conditions of the alpine environment, which include low temperatures, ultraviolet radiation, a short growing season. Alpine plants display adaptations such as rosette structures, waxy surfaces, hairy leaves; because of the common characteristics of these zones, the World Wildlife Fund groups a set of related ecoregions into the "montane grassland and shrubland" biome.
Climates with biotemperatures below 1.5 °C tend to consist purely of ice. Montane forests occur between the subalpine zone; the elevation at which one habitat changes to another varies across the globe by latitude. The upper limit of montane forests, the forest line or timberline, is marked by a change to hardier species that occur in less dense stands. For example, in the Sierra Nevada of California, the montane forest has dense stands of lodgepole pine and red fir, while the Sierra Nevada subalpine zone contains sparse stands of whitebark pine; the lower bound of the montane zone may be a "lower timberline" that separates the montane forest from drier steppe or desert region. Montane forests differ from lowland forests in the same area; the climate of montane forests is colder than lowland climate at the same latitude, so the montane forests have species typical of higher-latitude lowland forests. Humans can disturb montane forests through agriculture. On isolated mountains, montane forests surrounded by treeless dry regions are typical "sky island" ecosystems.
Montane forests in temperate climate are one of temperate coniferous forest or temperate broadleaf and mixed forest, forest types that are well known from northern Europe, northern United States, southern Canada. The trees are, however not identical to those found further north: geology and climate causes different related species to occur in montane forests. Montane forests around the world tend to be more species-rich than those in Europe, because major mountain chains in Europe are oriented east-west. Montane forests in temperate climate occur in Europe, in North America, south-western South America, New Zealand and Himalaya. Montane forests in Mediterranean climate are warm and dry except in winter, when they are wet and mild; these forests are mixed conifer and broadleaf forests, with only a few conifer species. Pine and Juniper are typical trees found in Mediterranean montane forests; the broadleaf trees show more variety and are evergreen, e.g. evergreen Oak. This type of forest is found in the Mediterranean Basin, North Africa and the southwestern US, Iran and Afghanistan.
In the tropics, montane forests can consist of broadleaf forest in addition to coniferous forest. One example of a tropical montane forest is a cloud forest, which gains its moisture from clouds and fog. Cloud forests exhibit an abundance of mosses covering the ground and vegetation, in which case they are referred to as mossy forests. Mossy forests develop on the saddles of mountains, where moisture introduced by settling clouds is more retained. Depending on latitude, the lower limit of montane rainforests on large mountains is between 1,500 and 2,500 metres while the upper limit is from 2,400 to 3,300 metres; the subalpine zone is the biotic zone below the tree line around the world. In tropical regions of Southeast Asia the tree line may be above 4,000 m, whereas in Scotland it may be as low as 450 m. Species that occur in this zone depend on the location of the zone on the Earth, for example, snow gum in Australia, or subalpine larch, mountain h
Lesotho the Kingdom of Lesotho, is an enclaved country–the only one in the world outside of the Italian peninsula–within the border of South Africa. It has a population of around 2 million, its capital and largest city is Maseru. Lesotho was the British Crown Colony of Basutoland, but it declared independence from the United Kingdom on 4 October 1966, it is now a sovereign state, a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Southern African Development Community. The name Lesotho translates to "the land of the people who speak Sesotho"; the original inhabitants of the area now known as Lesotho were the San people. Examples of their rock art can be found in the mountains throughout the area; the present Lesotho called Basutoland, emerged as a single polity under King Moshoeshoe I in 1822. Moshoeshoe, a son of Mokhachane, a minor chief of the Bakoteli lineage, formed his own clan and became a chief around 1804. Between 1821 and 1823, he and his followers settled at the Butha-Buthe Mountain, joining with former adversaries in resistance against the Lifaqane associated with the reign of Shaka Zulu from 1818 to 1828.
Subsequent evolution of the state hinged on conflicts between British and Dutch colonists leaving the Cape Colony following its seizure from the French-allied Dutch by the British in 1795, subsequently associated with the Orange River Sovereignty and subsequent Orange Free State. Missionaries invited by Moshoeshoe I, Thomas Arbousset, Eugène Casalis and Constant Gosselin from the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society, placed at Morija, developed orthography and printed works in the Sesotho language between 1837 and 1855. Casalis, acting as translator and providing advice on foreign affairs, helped to set up diplomatic channels and acquire guns for use against the encroaching Europeans and the Griqua people. Trekboers from the Cape Colony arrived on the western borders of Basutoland and claimed land rights, beginning with Jan de Winnaar, who settled in the Matlakeng area in May–June 1838; as more Boers were moving into the area they tried to colonise the land between the two rivers north of the Caledon, claiming that it had been abandoned by the Sotho people.
Moshoeshoe subsequently signed a treaty with the British Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir George Thomas Napier, that annexed the Orange River Sovereignty that many Boers had settled. These outraged Boers were suppressed in a brief skirmish in 1848. In 1851 a British force was defeated by the Basotho army at Kolonyama, touching off an embarrassing war for the British. After repelling another British attack in 1852, Moshoeshoe sent an appeal to the British commander that settled the dispute diplomatically defeated the Batlokoa in 1853. In 1854 the British pulled out of the region, in 1858 Moshoeshoe fought a series of wars with the Boers in the Free State–Basotho War, losing a great portion of the western lowlands; the last war in 1867 ended when Moshoeshoe appealed to Queen Victoria, who agreed to make Basutoland a British protectorate in 1868. In 1869, the British signed a treaty at Aliwal North with the Boers that defined the boundaries of Basutoland, Lesotho, which by ceding the western territories reduced Moshoeshoe's Kingdom to half its previous size.
Following the cession in 1869, the British transferred functions from Moshoeshoe's capital in Thaba Bosiu to a police camp on the northwest border, until administration of Basutoland was transferred to the Cape Colony in 1871. Moshoeshoe died on 11 March 1870, marking the end of the traditional era and the beginning of the colonial era, he was buried at Thaba Bosiu. In the early years of British rule between 1871 and 1884, Basutoland was treated to other territories, forcibly annexed, much to the chagrin of the Basotho; this led to the Gun War in 1881. In 1884, Basutoland was restored to its status as a protectorate, with Maseru again its capital, but remained under direct rule by a governor, though effective internal power was wielded by traditional chiefs. Basutoland gained its independence from Britain and became the Kingdom of Lesotho in 1966. In January 1970, the ruling Basotho National Party lost the first post-independence general elections, with 23 seats to the Basutoland Congress Party's 36.
Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan refused to cede power to the Basotho Congress Party, declared himself Tona Kholo, imprisoned the BCP leadership. BCP began a rebellion and received training in Libya for its Lesotho Liberation Army under the pretense of being Azanian People's Liberation Army soldiers of the Pan Africanist Congress. Deprived of arms and supplies by the Sibeko faction of the PAC in 1978, the 178-strong LLA was rescued from their Tanzanian base by the financial assistance of a Maoist PAC officer, but they launched the guerrilla war with only a handful of old weapons; the main force was defeated in northern Lesotho, guerrillas launched sporadic but ineffectual attacks. The campaign was compromised when BCP's leader, Ntsu Mokhehle, went to Pretoria. In the early 1980s, several Basotho who sympathised with the exiled BCP were threatened with death and attacked by the government of Leabua Jonathan. On 4 September 1981, the family of Benjamin Masilo was attacked. In the attack his 3-year-old grandson lost his life.
Four days Edgar Mahlomola Motuba, the editor of the popular newspaper Leselinyana la Lesotho, was abducted from his home together with two friends and murdered. The BNP ruled from 1966 until January 1970. What ensued was a de facto government led by Dr. Leab
Sudan or the Sudan the Republic of the Sudan, is a country in Northeast Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea to the east, Ethiopia to the southeast, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, Libya to the northwest, it has a population of 39 million people and occupies a total area of 1,886,068 square kilometres, making it the third-largest country in Africa. Sudan's predominant religion is Islam, its official languages are Arabic and English; the capital is Khartoum, located at the confluence of the White Nile. Since 2011, Sudan is the scene of ongoing military conflict in its regions South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Sudan's history goes back to the Pharaonic period, witnessing the kingdom of Kerma, the subsequent rule of the Egyptian New Kingdom and the rise of the kingdom of Kush, which would in turn control Egypt itself for nearly a century. After the fall of Kush the Nubians formed the three Christian kingdoms of Nobatia and Alodia, with the latter two lasting until around 1500.
Between the 14th and 15th centuries much of Sudan was settled by Arab nomads. From the 16th–19th centuries and eastern Sudan were dominated by the Funj sultanate, while Darfur ruled the west and the Ottomans the far north; this period saw Arabization. From 1820 to 1874 the entirety of Sudan was conquered by the Muhammad Ali dynasty. Between 1881 and 1885 the harsh Egyptian reign was met with a successful revolt led by the self-proclaimed Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad, resulting in the establishment of the Caliphate of Omdurman; this state was destroyed in 1898 by the British, who would govern Sudan together with Egypt. The 20th century saw the growth of Sudanese nationalism and in 1953 Britain granted Sudan self-government. Independence was proclaimed on January 1, 1956. Since independence, Sudan has been ruled by a series of unstable parliamentary governments and military regimes. Under Gaafar Nimeiry, Sudan instituted Islamic law in 1983; this exacerbated the rift between the Islamic north, the seat of the government and the animists and Christians in the south.
Differences in language and political power erupted in a civil war between government forces influenced by the National Islamic Front and the southern rebels, whose most influential faction was the Sudan People's Liberation Army concluding in the independence of South Sudan in 2011. In April 2019, following contentious protests that faced fierce resistance from the Omar al-Bashir regime, the Sudanese military, under the command of Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, took control of the nation and established a Transitional Military Council; this move dissolved the constitution. The country's place name Sudan is a name given to a geographical region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western Africa to eastern Central Africa; the name derives from the Arabic bilād as-sūdān, or "the lands of the Blacks". The name is one of several toponyms sharing similar etymologies meaning "land of the blacks" or similar meanings, in reference to the dark skin of the inhabitants; the term "Sudanese" had a negative connotation in Sudan due to its association with black African slaves.
The idea of "Sudanese" nationalism goes back to the 1930s and 1940s, when it was popularized by young intellectuals. By the eighth millennium BC, people of a Neolithic culture had settled into a sedentary way of life there in fortified mudbrick villages, where they supplemented hunting and fishing on the Nile with grain gathering and cattle herding. During the fifth millennium BC, migrations from the drying Sahara brought neolithic people into the Nile Valley along with agriculture; the population that resulted from this cultural and genetic mixing developed a social hierarchy over the next centuries which became the Kingdom of Kush at 1700 BC. Anthropological and archaeological research indicate that during the predynastic period Nubia and Nagadan Upper Egypt were ethnically, culturally nearly identical, thus evolved systems of pharaonic kingship by 3300 BC; the Kingdom of Kush was an ancient Nubian state centered on the confluences of the Blue Nile and White Nile, the Atbarah River and the Nile River.
It was established after the Bronze Age collapse and the disintegration of the New Kingdom of Egypt, centered at Napata in its early phase. After King Kashta invaded Egypt in the eighth century BC, the Kushite kings ruled as pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt for a century before being defeated and driven out by the Assyrians. At the height of their glory, the Kushites conquered an empire that stretched from what is now known as South Kordofan all the way to the Sinai. Pharaoh Piye attempted to expand the empire into the Near East, but was thwarted by the Assyrian king Sargon II; the Kingdom of Kush is mentioned in the Bible as having saved the Israelites from the wrath of the Assyrians, although disease among the besiegers was the main reason for the failure to take the city. The war that took place between Pharaoh Taharqa and the Assyrian king Sennacherib was a decisive event in western history, with the Nubians being defeated in their attempts to gain a foothold in the Near East by Assyria.
Sennacherib's successor Esarhaddon went further, invaded Egypt itself, deposing Taharqa and driving the Nubians from Egypt entirely. Taharqa fled back to his homeland. Egypt became an Assyrian colony.
Mozambique the Republic of Mozambique, is a country located in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, Eswatini and South Africa to the southwest. The sovereign state is separated from the Comoros and Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel to the east; the capital of Mozambique is Maputo. Between the first and fifth centuries AD, Bantu-speaking peoples migrated to present-day Mozambique from farther north and west. Northern Mozambique lies within the monsoon trade winds of the Indian Ocean. Between the 7th and 11th centuries, a series of Swahili port towns developed here, which contributed to the development of a distinct Swahili culture and language. In the late medieval period, these towns were frequented by traders from Somalia, Egypt, Arabia and India; the voyage of Vasco da Gama in 1498 marked the arrival of the Portuguese, who began a gradual process of colonisation and settlement in 1505. After over four centuries of Portuguese rule, Mozambique gained independence in 1975, becoming the People's Republic of Mozambique shortly thereafter.
After only two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. In 1994, Mozambique held its first multiparty elections, has since remained a stable presidential republic, although it still faces a low-intensity insurgency. Mozambique is endowed with extensive natural resources; the country's economy is based on agriculture, but industry is growing food and beverages, chemical manufacturing and aluminium and petroleum production. The tourism sector is expanding. South Africa is Mozambique's main trading partner and source of foreign direct investment, while Belgium, Brazil and Spain are among the country's most important economic partners. Since 2001, Mozambique's annual average GDP growth has been among the world's highest. However, the country is still one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world, ranking low in GDP per capita, human development, measures of inequality and average life expectancy; the only official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, spoken as a second language by about half the population.
Common native languages include Makhuwa and Swahili. The country's population of around 29 million is composed overwhelmingly of Bantu people; the largest religion in Mozambique is Christianity, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions. Mozambique is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Southern African Development Community, is an observer at La Francophonie; the country was named Moçambique by the Portuguese after the Island of Mozambique, derived from Mussa Bin Bique or Musa Al Big or Mossa Al Bique or Mussa Ben Mbiki or Mussa Ibn Malik, an Arab trader who first visited the island and lived there. The island-town was the capital of the Portuguese colony until 1898, when it was moved south to Lourenço Marques. Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, waves of Bantu-speaking people migrated from the west and north through the Zambezi River valley and gradually into the plateau and coastal areas.
They established agricultural societies based on herding cattle. They brought with them the technology for smithing iron. From the late first millennium AD, vast Indian Ocean trade networks extended as far south into Mozambique as evidenced by the ancient port town of Chibuene. Beginning in the 9th century, a growing involvement in Indian Ocean trade led to the development of numerous port towns along the entire East African coast, including modern day Mozambique. Autonomous, these towns broadly participated in the incipient Swahili culture. Islam was adopted by urban elites, facilitating trade. In Mozambique, Sofala and Mozambique Island were regional powers by the 15th century; the towns traded with merchants from both the broader Indian Ocean world. Important were the gold and ivory caravan routes. Inland states like the Kingdom of Zimbabwe and Kingdom of Mutapa provided the coveted gold and ivory, which were exchanged up the coast to larger port cities like Kilwa and Mombasa. From about 1500, Portuguese trading posts and forts displaced the Arabic commercial and military hegemony, becoming regular ports of call on the new European sea route to the east.
The voyage of Vasco da Gama around the Cape of Good Hope in 1498 marked the Portuguese entry into trade and society of the region. The Portuguese gained control of the Island of Mozambique and the port city of Sofala in the early 16th century, by the 1530s, small groups of Portuguese traders and prospectors seeking gold penetrated the interior regions, where they set up garrisons and trading posts at Sena and Tete on the River Zambezi and tried to gain exclusive control over the gold trade. In the central part of the Mozambique territory, the Portuguese attempted to legitimise and consolidate their trade and settlement positions through the creation of prazos tied to their settlement and administration. While prazos were developed to be held by Portuguese, through intermarriage they became African Portuguese or African Indian centres defended by large African sl
The Puna grassland ecoregion, of the montane grasslands and shrublands biome, is found in the central Andes Mountains of South America. It is considered one of the eight Natural Regions in Peru, but extends south, across Bolivia, as far as northern Argentina and Chile; the term puna encompasses diverse ecosystems of the high Central Andes above 3200–3400 m. The puna is found above the treeline at 3200–3500 m elevation, below the permanent snow line above 4500–5000 m elevation, it extends from central Peru in the north, across the Altiplano plateau of Peru and Bolivia, south along the spine of the Andes into northern Argentina and Chile. Other sources claim that it goes from 4000 m to the snow line of Puna grassland; the puna is a diverse ecosystem that comprises varied ecoregions labeled wet/moist puna, dry puna and desert puna. This ecoregion is a high elevation, montane grassland in the southern high Andes, occurring from northern Peru to northern Bolivia; the wet puna shares its border on the west with the Sechura desert and the east with the wet Peruvian Yungas.
The characteristically mountainous landscape contains high lakes, mountain valleys, snow-covered mountains, plateaux. The high elevation of the wet puna causes the area to have large temperature differences between night and day; the average annual temperature is low, ranging from 5 to 7 °C. Temperatures shift from characteristic summer highs in the drop to winter lows at night; this extreme temperature shift has caused selective adaptation to occur and many endemic plants such as the Culcitium and Polylepis center their diversity in the wet puna. The ecoregion contains snow-capped peaks, glacial lakes, several rivers that originate in the Cordilleras; the biggest lake in the ecoregion is Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, at an elevation of 3800 m. The Suches and Tiwanacu rivers in Bolivia are the lakes tributaries; the areas in the north surrounding Lake Titicaca have eight wet months, the areas in the south have one to two wet months. The average precipitation in this region ranges from 400 to 2000 mm.
This ecoregion is a dry, high elevation montane grassland of the southern high Andes. It extends into northern Chile and Argentina and east into western Bolivia occurring above 3500 m between the tree and permanent snow lines; the vegetation of the dry puna consists of tropical alpine herbs with dwarf shrubs. Within the dry puna are salt flats, high plateaus, snow-covered peaks and volcanoes. Dry puna is distinguished from the other types of puna by its diminished annual rainfall; the dry puna receives less than 400 mm of rainfall each year. The region lies at an elevation of 3500–5000 m above sea level; the dry puna is oligothermic as well. The average temperatures in this ecoregion range from 8 to 11 degrees Celsius and are lowest in the south; as a result of the elevation, varied temperatures and lack of rainfall, the Central Andean dry puna is a unique ecoregion with adapted flora and fauna. The southern region of the dry puna encompasses an drier puna known as the desert puna. In the desert puna the average rainfall ranges from only 51–406 mm.
The desert puna is dominated by the huge salt lakes and is known for the scattered halophytes around and in the depressions. These salt lakes are home to the endemic Andean flamingo; the World Wildlife fund defines three distinct puna sub-ecoregions: NT1003 Central Andean wet puna – With about 1000 mm of precipitation each year, it tends to be covered by grasses mixed with herbs, lichens and ferns. Wet areas rushes; the Polylepis forests of 10,000 years ago were cleared by fire for agriculture and grazing. Many areas are farmed, it extends from north-central Peru, adjacent to the páramos, reaches southeast to along the eastern altiplano of Bolivia. NT1002 Central Andean puna – Covering most of southern Peru, the region is dominated by shrublands and thickets of tola shrubs. NT1001 Central Andean dry puna – Mostly in the southern part of the Central Andes along the western cordillera of Bolivia. There is little agriculture. Puna soils are composed of a stony layer; the average soil profile is 33 cm deep.
The Puna ecosystem has a low diversity of bacteria in its soils. The rhizosphere of the grasses are dominated by the Bacillas species, these organisms are composed of dormant cells that enable them to survive in the extreme climatic conditions in the Puna ecosystem; the dormant bacterial community of Puna grasses is similar to those found in desert soils. The puna flora is characterized by its unique assemblages of mat forming species. Many of these species, most notably the large Azorella compacta has been harvested for fuel and medicinal use; the vegetation with the puna grassland displays complex patterns of spatial variation, despite the low cover and overall density. The puna belt which ranges from wet puna in the north of the Andes to dry puna to the southwestern Andes is composed by poaceae and shrubs of the asteraceae family. Other representative grasses include species Jarava ichu, Calamagrostis vicunarum, Festuca dolichophylla. There are several main rock unit formations in the Puna with distinct soil conditions that can be used to identify the main flora of each area.
Up to 3000 m above the desert, the arid vegetation of the mountainous steppe is characterized by columnar cacti, arid shrubs and herbs. Vegetation located be
The Rwenzori Mountains called the "Ruwenzori Range", is a mountain range of eastern equatorial Africa, located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These mountains support are one source of the Nile river; the Rwenzori Mountains reach heights up to 5,109 metres. The highest Rwenzori peaks are permanently snow-capped; the Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Virunga National Park are located in the range. The mountains formed about three million years ago in the late Pliocene epoch and are the result of an uplifted block of crystalline rocks including gneiss, amphibolite and quartzite; this uplift divided the paleolake Obweruka and created three of the present-day African Great Lakes: Lake Albert, Lake Edward, Lake George. The range is 65 kilometres wide, it consists of six massifs separated by deep gorges: Mount Stanley, Mount Speke, Mount Baker, Mount Emin, Mount Gessi and Mount Luigi di Savoia. Mount Stanley has several subsidiary summits, with Margherita Peak being the highest point.
The mountains are identified with the legendary "Mountains of the Moon", depicted in Antiquity as the source of the Nile River. Photographer Vittorio Sella took a number of photographs of the Rwenzori Mountains during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, documenting the retreat of the range's glaciers. Sella's photographic work is conserved at the Museo Nazionale della Montagna in Turin and at the Istituto di Fotografia Alpina Vittorio Sella in Biella, both in Italy; the Makerere University, Uganda has a selection of his images. The first traverse of the six massifs of the Rwenzori Mountains was done in 1975, starting on 27 January and ending on 13 February; the traverse was done by Polish climbers Janusz Chalecki, Stanisław Cholewa and Leszek Czarnecki, with Mirosław Kuraś accompanying them on the last half of the traverse. The Rwenzori Mountains are known for their vegetation, ranging from tropical rainforest through alpine meadows to snow; the range supports its own species and varieties of giant groundsel and giant lobelia and has a 6 metres tall heather covered in moss that lives on one of its peaks.
Most of the range is now a World Heritage Site and is covered jointly by the Rwenzori Mountains National Park in south-western Uganda and the Virunga National Park in the eastern DRC. There is no water shortage in the Rwenzori; the reason lies in their similar water economy. Water is not always available to the afroalpine plants when they need it. In addition, nightly frosts affect the sap transport in the plants and the intake of water by its roots; as the day begins, the air temperature and radiation level rise putting strenuous demands on the exposed parts of the plants as they try to meet the transpiration demands of the leaves and maintain a proper water balance. To counter the effects of freezing, the afroalpine plants have developed the insulation systems that give them such a striking appearance; these adaptations become more prominent as the altitude increases. There are five overlapping vegetation zones in the Rwenzori Mountains: the evergreen forest zone. At higher altitudes, some plants reach an unusually large size, such as lobelia and groundsels.
The vegetation in the Rwenzori Mountains is unique to equatorial alpine Africa. Sources: An ongoing concern is the impact of climate change on Rwenzori's glaciers. In 1906, the Rwenzori had 43 named glaciers distributed over six mountains with a total area of 7.5 square kilometres, about half the total glacier area in Africa. By 2005, less than half of these were still present, on only three mountains, with an area of about 1.5 square kilometres. Recent scientific studies, such as those by Richard Taylor of University College London, have attributed this retreat to global climate change and have investigated the impact of this change on the mountain's vegetation and biodiversity. 1966 Toro earthquake Glaciers of the Middle East and Africa, Richard S. Jr. In: U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper, 1991, pp. G1-G70 Guide to the Ruwenzori, Osmaston,H. A. Pasteur,D. 1972, Mountain Club of Uganda. 200 p. Recession of Equatorial Glaciers. A Photo Documentation, Hastenrath, S. 2008, Sundog Publishing, Madison, WI, ISBN 978-0-9729033-3-2, 144 pp. Tropical Glaciers, Kaser, G. Osmaston, H.
A. 2002, Cambridge University Press, UK. 207 p. Ruwenzori, De Filippi, F. 1909. Constable, London. 408 p. Greenpeace article "The Death of the Ice Gigantaurs" BBC Article "Fabled ice field set to vanish" Dr Taylor's Homepage, with information about the impact of climate change on Rwenzori. Kaser et al. 2006, in International Book of Climatology 24: 329–339 World Wildlife Fund, ed.. "Ruwenzoris". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08. UWM.edu: 1937 aerial photographs of Rwenzori Mountains — University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries Digital Collections. Beach, Chandler B. ed.. "Ruwenzori". The New Student's Reference Work. Chicago: F. E. Compton and Co