Orou Gaoue

Orou Gaoue
University of Tennessee | UTK · Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology

About

75
Publications
36,557
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,497
Citations
Introduction
Orou Gaoue is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, USA. His research combines population ecology and ethnoecology to study pant-human interactions and the implications for biodiversity conservation.
Additional affiliations
August 2020 - present
University of Tennessee
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2017 - July 2020
University of Tennessee
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
June 2013 - July 2017
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (75)
Article
Full-text available
Recurrent tree defoliation by pastoralists, akin to herbivory, can negatively affect plant reproduction and population dynamics. However, our understanding of the indirect role of defoliation in seedling recruitment and tree–grass dynamics in tropical savanna is limited. In West African savanna, Fulani pastoralists frequently defoliate several fodd...
Article
Environmental and anthropogenic stressors can interact (e.g., drought, harvest or herbivory) to shape plant demography and evolutionary strategies with implications for sustainable resource management plans. Harvest or recurrent biomass removal can act as a selective force. However, our understanding of how harvest and changes in climate can synerg...
Article
Full-text available
Natural resource management involves balancing benefits and costs that accrue through time. How individuals and local communities weight such tradeoffs can profoundly influence how they use and conserve resources. Our goal was to understand time preferences of future benefits for goods that are relevant for developing effective conservation strateg...
Article
Full-text available
Human subsistence societies have thrived in environmental extremes while maintaining biodiversity through social learning of ecological knowledge, such as techniques to prepare food and medicine from local resources. However, there is limited understanding of which processes shape social learning patterns and configuration in ecological knowledge n...
Article
Biological and cultural diversity are integrally linked, yet understanding how culture impacts biological extinction is limited. The orchid richness of Southwest China’s Sichuan Province is the second highest in China, but price speculation and overharvest have resulted in significant recent orchid population collapses. Due to the importance of Cym...
Article
Despite the ubiquity of nonlinear functional relationships in nature we tend to characterize mechanisms in science using more tractable linear functions. In demographic modeling, transfer function analysis is used to calculate the nonlinear response of population growth rate to a theoretical perturbation of one or more matrix elements. This elegant...
Article
Full-text available
The center-periphery hypothesis predicts that species are most abundant at the center of their distribution range. Differential herbivory rates between center and periphery populations can explain this variation in species abundance. However, if the geographic center of a species distribution coincides with its ecological optimum, the resource avai...
Article
Full-text available
Improving agricultural production in response to the increasing food demand remains a major challenge in agroecology. The world has made significant efforts to meet this issue by developing several cultivation techniques, such as the use of chemical fertilizers and arable land conversion into agricultural land. However, most of these techniques hav...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the ecological processes that govern species' range margins is a fundamental question in ecology with practical implications in conservation biology. The center-periphery hypothesis predicts that organisms have higher abundance at the center of their geographic range. However, most tests of this hypothesis often used raster data, assu...
Article
Full-text available
The reintroduction of rare species in natural preserves is a commonly used restoration strategy to prevent species extinction. An essential first step in planning successful reintroductions is identifying which life stages (e.g., seeds or large adults) should be used to establish these new populations. Following this initial establishment phase, it...
Article
Full-text available
The conversion of natural systems into farms and agroecosystems is the main cause of biodiversity loss. In human-dominated landscapes, understanding the interactions between agroforestry systems and adjacent natural vegetation is fundamental to developing sustainable agricultural systems. Species can move between these two systems with natural syst...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding why alien plant species are incorporated into the medicinal flora in several local communities is central to invasion biology and ethnobiology. Theories suggest that alien plants are incorporated in local pharmacopoeias because they are more versatile or contribute unique secondary chemistry which make them less therapeutically redund...
Article
Ecosystem fragmentation is one of the main threats to species persistence via habitat reduction and isolation which often lead to species extinctions. A question that has long been of interest is the minimum habitat size that can sustain viable populations in fragmented landscape. Despite numerous empirical and theoretical efforts on this topic, mo...
Article
Full-text available
Our understanding of the role of fire and effect of ant species composition, beyond their diversity and abundance, on the effectiveness of mutualism defence is limited. Most of our knowledge of ant–plant defence in tropical Africa is biased towards East African savannas which have richer soil, higher primary productivity and a more diverse arthropo...
Article
Full-text available
Ethnobiology as a discipline has evolved increasingly to embrace theory-inspired and hypothesis-driven approaches to study why and how local people choose plants and animals they interact with and use for their livelihood. However, testing complex hypotheses or a network of ethnobiological hypotheses is challenging, particularly for data sets with...
Article
Full-text available
Humans rely on plants in their environment for food and medicine. Understanding how humans select plant species will help us anticipate what plant species will be valuable for society in the future. However, previous approaches to study the drivers of plant selection have been criticized. We explored medicinal plant selection using a refined method...
Article
Full-text available
1. Understanding which factors influence medicinal plant species selection and harvest or use pressure can provide valuable insights for sustainable management of natural resources and conservation efforts. The utilitarian redundancy model, a theoretical framework in ethnobotany, suggests that species that are therapeutically redundant or fulfil si...
Article
Full-text available
The use of quantitative indices to quantify the importance of a plant species to human societies is widespread. While quantifi-cation may yield support for standardized methodologies and facilitate generalizations, it is important to examine the potential limitations of these indices. Moreover, because these indices are calculated at the species le...
Article
Full-text available
The cultural keystone species theory predicts plant species that are culturally important, play a role in resource acquisition, fulfil a psycho-socio-cultural function within a given culture, have high use-value, have an associated naming and terminology in a native language, and a high level of species irreplaceability qualify for cultural keyston...
Article
Viability of plants, especially endangered species, are usually affected by multiple stressors, including insects, herbivores, environmental factors and other plant species. We present new mathematical models, based on systems of ordinary differential equations, of two distinct herbivore species feeding (two stressors) on the same plant species. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the role of protected areas in conserving biodiversity is a central goal in conservation biology. Anthropogenic activities around and inside these protected areas and, in particular, roads can alter the spatiotemporal dynamics of biological diversity in protected areas. However, our understanding of how the presence and position of ro...
Article
With rapid urbanization worldwide, most people now live in cities, but the effects of urbanization on knowledge about the natural environment is not well studied. Due to the importance of Cymbidium to Chinese traditional culture, we tested how urbanization influences the distribution of orchid knowledge across various knowledge domains at risk of l...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological studies on the impacts of timber harvesting contributed to inform sustainable management strategies of tropical forests. However, these studies rely strongly on two major assumptions: i) strong seedlings recruitment predispose for positive population dynamics, and ii) more adult trees is a guarantee for a strong reproductive capability o...
Article
Socioeconomic Factors and Cultural Changes Explain the Knowledge and Use of Ouricuri Palm (Syagrus coronata) by the Fulni–ô Indigenous People of Northeast Brazil. The contact of indigenous people with non–indigenous societies has provoked socioeconomic and cultural change. One of the main consequences of these changes is the deviation of cultural t...
Article
Full-text available
Complex social-ecological interactions underpin many environmental problems. To help capture this complexity, we advance an interdisciplinary network modeling framework to identify important relationships between people and nature that can influence environmental conditions. Drawing on comprehensive social and ecological data from five coral reef f...
Article
Alien invasive species are problematic both economically and ecologically, particularly on islands. As such, understanding how they interact with their environment is necessary to inform invasive species management. Here, we ask the following questions: What are the main functional traits that correlate with invasion success of alien plants on Robb...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how trees mediate the effects of chronic anthropogenic disturbance is fundamental to developing forest sustainable management strategies. The role that intraspecific functional diversity plays in such process is poorly understood. Several tree species are repeatedly defoliated at large scale by cattle breeders in Africa to feed livest...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding actual and potential selection on traits of invasive species requires an assessment of the sources of variation in demographic rates. While some of this variation is assignable to environmental, biotic or historical factors, unexplained demographic variation also may play an important role. Even when sites and populations are chosen a...
Article
The use and appropriation of natural resources by human groups may be strongly related to the perception that these groups have of the abundance or scarcity of these resources. Researches on environmental representation can be useful to understand the criteria involved in the selection and use of natural resources, to verify if people realize chang...
Article
Full-text available
Rare species across taxonomic groups and biomes commonly suffer from multiple threats and require intensive restoration, including population reintroduction and threat control. Following reintroduction, it is necessary to identify what level of threat control is needed for species to persist over time. Population reintroduction and threat control a...
Article
Full-text available
1. Climate projections forecast more extreme inter-annual climate variability over time, with an increase in the severity and duration of extreme drought and rainfall events. Based on bioclimatic envelope models, it is projected that changing precipitation patterns will drastically alter the spatial distributions and density of plants and be a prim...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, a majority of people use plants as a primary source of healthcare and introduced plants are increasingly discussed as medicine. Protecting this resource for human health depends upon understanding which plants are used and how use patterns will change over time. The increasing use of introduced plants in local pharmacopoeia has been expla...
Article
Full-text available
Ethnobotany has evolved from a discipline that largely documented the diversity of plant use by local people to one focused on understanding how and why people select plants for a wide range of uses. This progress has been in response to a repeated call for theory-inspired and hypothesis-driven research to improve the rigor of the discipline. Despi...
Article
Full-text available
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are widely harvested by local people for their livelihood. Harvest often takes place in human disturbed ecosystems. However, our understanding of NTFPs harvesting impacts in fragmented habitats is limited. We assessed the impacts of fruit harvest, and reduction in habitat size on the population structures of Penta...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Doctrine of Signatures (DOS), which purports that plant form recapitulates therapeutic functions, has been used to explain how peoples discover and select their medicinal plants. Recently, it has been called into question if people really use plants' morphological signatures to discover their medicinal uses. We perform a statistical analysis on...
Article
Full-text available
Public involvement in Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) prevention efforts is key to reducing disease outbreaks. Targeted education through practical health information to particular groups and sub-populations is crucial to controlling the disease. In this paper, we study the dynamics of Ebola virus disease in the presence of public health education with t...
Article
Full-text available
Studies on the ecological impacts of non-timber forest products (NTFP) harvest reveal that plants are often more resilient to fruit and seed harvest than to bark and root harvest. Several studies indicate that sustainable fruit harvesting limits can be set very high (>80% fruit harvesting intensity). For species with clonal and sexual reproduction,...
Article
Full-text available
1. Understanding of the role of environmental change in the decline of endangered species is critical to designing scale-appropriate restoration plans. For locally endemic rare plants on the brink of extinction, frugivory can drastically reduce local recruitment by dispersing seeds away from geographically isolated populations. Dispersal of seeds a...
Article
Full-text available
The theory of non-random medicinal plant selection predicts that the number of medicinal plant species in a given family is related to the total number of species in that family. As a consequence of such a strong relationship, some plant families are over-utilized for medicinal purposes while others are not. Medicinal plant families that are often...
Article
Full-text available
Vascular epiphytes constitute up to 25% of tropical plant diversity and play an important role in providing food, water, and shelter to many organisms. However, the factors that drive their population dynamics, including the influence of their host plants (phorophytes) and of climatic factors, are still poorly understood. We provide the first test...
Article
Full-text available
Harvesting wild plants for non-timber forest products (NTFP) can be ecologically sustainable - without long-term consequences to the dynamics of targeted and associated species - but it may not be economically satisfying because it fails to provide enough revenues for local people over time. In several cases, the same species can be harvested for N...
Conference Paper
Developing sustainable and resilient agricultural systems that ensure food security, maintain local ecosystems and strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change for local communities requires further understanding and including farmer’s agroecological knowledge. We investigated the drivers of farmers’ knowledge of agrobiodiversity management...
Article
Full-text available
Classic theories of resource-harvest assume logistic growth, and incorporate harvest through an additional loss term. This methodology has been applied successfully in forest product-harvesting such as timber logging. However, modeling harvest through a loss term is not appropriate for non-timber forest products (NTFP) since harvesting in this case...
Article
Full-text available
1. Exploitation of non-timber forest products can contribute to alleviate poverty. However, overexploitation can also lead to species decline. Studies on the sustainability of harvest often use stationary population growth rates to assess harvesting effects. For such frequently harvested systems, transient analysis can provide new insights into pop...
Article
Full-text available
Building on farmer’s agroecological knowledge to design environmental-friendly agricultural systems is crucial given the environmental impact of industrial agriculture. We investigated the drivers of farmers’ knowledge of agrobiodiversity management and analyzed how farmers’ knowledge and their current farming contexts may guide future farming syst...
Article
Full-text available
The level of genetic diversity in a population can affect ecological processes and plant responses to disturbance. In turn, disturbance can alter population genetic diversity and structure. Populations in fragmented and logged habitats often show reduced genetic diversity and increased inbreeding and differentiation. Long-term harvesting of wild pl...
Article
Full-text available
In order to access the state of ligneous cover in the north of Benin Republic, in situ measurements were made in woody vegetation (non-protected areas) in three eco-geographical zones selected following a climatic gradient. Ecological and structural characterization of different plant communities was conducted to identify the main functional groups...
Article
Full-text available
1. Selectively harvesting whole individuals in managed populations (e.g. fisheries, hunting) has substantial effects on life expectancy and age at maturity. Although demographic rates of trees are impacted by recurrent harvest of plant organs (e.g. fruit, leaf, bark) known as non-timber forest products, the effect of such harvesting on life history...
Article
Full-text available
In order to access the state of ligneous cover in the north of Benin Republic, in situ measurements were made in woody vegetation (non-protected areas) in three eco-geographical zones selected following a climatic gradient. Ecological and structural characterization of different plant communities was conducted to identify the main functional groups...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Two decades of studies on harvest of non-timber forest products (NTFP) from wild populations, a widespread activity worldwide, reveal that harvest of products that are detachable from individuals can impact annual demographic rates and population dynamics. Expected lifespan of individuals and time to reproduction could...
Article
Full-text available
The ecological adaptation of shea butter trees was assessed based on their dendrometric and production traits in four shea butter tree parks occurring in different climatic zones of Bénin. A total of 99 rectangular plots of 50 · 30 m were established within the four parks according to a random sampling scheme. In each plot, all trees with a diamete...
Article
Full-text available
Summary1. Non-timber forest products (NTFP) are harvested by millions of people for their livelihood. To define sustainable harvest limits it is critical to understand the biological impacts of harvest. In the last decade we have improved our understanding of the demographic mechanisms driving population level responses to harvest. Our understandin...
Article
Full-text available
A new set of 12 microsatellite markers was developed and characterized for big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King, Meliaceae) and its transferability assayed in the African mahogany, Khaya senegalensis (Desr.) A. Juss. (Meliaceae), to study population and conservation genetics of these threatened tropical timber species. Using an enriched li...
Article
Full-text available
With increasing reports of overexploitation of wild plants for timber and non-timber forest products, there has been an increase in the number of studies investigating the effect of harvest on the dynamics of harvested populations. However, most studies have failed to account for temporal and spatial variability in the ecological conditions in whic...
Article
Full-text available
1. Understanding how management activities impact plant population dynamics is necessary to conserve at-risk species, control invasive species and sustainably harvest non-timber forest products (NTFP). For NTFP, knowledge about how the sustainability of harvest varies by plant life-form and part harvested is limited and needed to inform management...
Article
Full-text available
Daniellia oliveri is an indigenous tree with multiple coppicing that is harvested as firewood by local people from savannas and traditional fallows in West Africa. We investigated the effects of periodic weed removal on D. oliveri resprouting and growth in traditional fallows and its use for firewood production by smallholder harvesters. Protected...