Sylvanus Mensah

Sylvanus Mensah
University of Abomey-Calavi | UAC · Laboratory of Biomathematics and Forest Estimations

PhD

About

65
Publications
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Publications

Publications (65)
Article
Studies on how biodiversity influences ecosystem multifunctionality (EMF) help elucidate ecological mechanisms (e.g. niche complementarity and selection) underlying provision of multiple ecosystem services. While it is acknowledged that biodiversity contributes to EMF, the relative importance of functional traits diversity (niche complementarity) a...
Article
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It is prominently claimed that enhancing forest diversity would play a dual role of nature conservation and climate regulation. While the idea is intuitively appealing, studies show that species richness effects on aboveground carbon (AGC) are not always positive, but instead unpredictable especially across scales and complex terrestrial systems ha...
Article
Biotic and abiotic drivers of seedling establishment and survival are fundamental not only for elucidating processes occurring at plant early life stages, but also for assisting species natural regeneration. Keystone, multipurpose and economically important tree species such as Afzelia africana Sm. are reportedly facing recruitment constraints, yet...
Article
Grazing exclosures have been promoted as an effective and low-cost land management strategy to recover vegetation and associated functions in degraded landscapes in the tropics. While grazing exclosures can be important reservoirs of biodiversity and carbon, their potential in playing a dual role of conservation of biodiversity and mitigation of cl...
Article
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Various studies have shown that plant species richness can promote ecosystem functions such as biomass storage. However, it is less well known whether this is mostly driven by the dominance of a few species and their associated traits (functional identity), or by complementarity among species that highly vary in their traits (functional diversity)....
Article
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Data capturing multiple axes of tree size and shape, such as a tree's stem diameter, height and crown size, underpin a wide range of ecological research - from developing and testing theory on forest structure and dynamics, to estimating forest carbon stocks and their uncertainties, and integrating remote sensing imagery into forest monitoring prog...
Article
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Key Message Strychnos spinosa growth was less responsive than its fruit production, to tree size, protection status and climate; its fruit production increased with tree size, and more so on protected sites. Abstract Abiotic and biotic mechanisms (e.g. climate, human perturbations) are presumed to shape tree growth and reproductive performances. U...
Article
Adaptation framing remains one of the major challenges to achieving greater implementation of adaptation initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Using an integrated analytical framework that frames adaptation indicators into three dimensions; adaptive, absorptive and transformative capacities, we analysed the adaptation diversity in Karamoja sub-r...
Article
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Grazing management strategies tend to have different effects on rangeland plant production. Changes in grazing management can, therefore, affect the carbon stock potential of rangelands. Despite rangeland ecosystems being important global sinks for carbon, we know relatively little about the effect of traditional grazing management practices on the...
Preprint
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It is prominently claimed that including the local community in forest management by adopting Collaborative Forest Management (CFM) approach could help for sustainable forest management. Therefore, information on its effectiveness is still needed for better planning in forest conservation. This study assessed the effectiveness of CFM on both forest...
Article
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Background and aims – Understanding the spatial patterns and associations of tree species with their conspecific and heterospecific neighbours is critical for sustainable management of their stands. This study assessed the intra- and interspecific spatial structure of six life stages in Afzelia africana, a keystone multipurpose and endangered tree...
Article
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Understanding the impacts of wood harvesting intensity on the diversity and structure of ecosystems such as mangroves is essential for defining actions for their sustainable management. We compared tree taxonomic diversity, structural diversity and dominance patterns, density, growth characteristics, size class distribution-SCD and stand stability...
Article
Understanding abiotic and biotic factors affecting the survival of seedlings of threatened species such as Afzelia africana is fundamental for restoration and sustainable management purposes. This study used seedling individual-level morphological data and plot-level data to assess the effect of abiotic (season, elevation, soil type and terrain slo...
Article
The establishment of grazing exclosures is widely practiced to restore degraded agricultural lands and forests. Here, we evaluated the potential of grazing exclosures to contribute to the”4 per 1000” initiative by analyzing the changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and sequestration (SCS) rates after their establishment on degraded communal g...
Article
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The adverse impacts of ecosystem degradation have raised the need for forest landscape restoration (FLR) to be included in international sustainability agendas. However, the path towards successful FLR implementation faces numerous biophysical, socioeconomic and governance challenges because FLR operates within complex socioecological systems. In t...
Article
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Afzelia africana Sm. is a highly valued multi-purpose and overexploited tree species in Africa. Ethnobotany of A. africana can guide its sustainable usage, yet there is limited information on such aspect for the species in Uganda. Here, we assessed use values of A. africana and users’ traditional knowledge, and how they relate to plant parts and so...
Article
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Agroforestry systems are alternative solutions for production and management of agricultural systems which may improve soil quality. In this study, we evaluated the potential of coconut Cocos nucifera-based Gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium) systems to improve soil quality of coconut lands in dry and wet regions of Sri Lanka. A three-year field experim...
Chapter
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The estimation of foliage and woody biomass is often difficult because it requires destructive sampling, while tree species and natural forests in interest are strictly protected. This chapter presents a non-destructive field sampling method for quantifying foliage and woody biomass in such protected forests ecosystems. The approach is based on the...
Chapter
This book is the culmination of a collaborative effort to develop an updated volume providing (i) sound analyses of current trends and developments in the tertiary agricultural education (TAE) sector and (ii) direction and focus for future initiatives to strengthen the sector in Africa. Part I (chapter 1) begins with an introduction on agriculture...
Article
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Aim Tree crowns determine light interception, carbon and water exchange. Thus, understanding the factors causing tree crown allometry to vary at the tree and stand level matters greatly for the development of future vegetation modelling and for the calibration of remote sensing products. Nevertheless, we know little about large‐scale variation and...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Tree crowns determine light interception, carbon and water exchange. Thus, understanding the factors causing tree crown allometry to vary at the tree and stand level matters greatly for the development of future vegetation modelling and for the calibration of remote sensing products. Nevertheless, we know little about large‐scale variation and...
Article
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The importance of terrestrial ecosystems for carbon sequestration and climate regulation is acknowledged globally. However, the underlying structural drivers are still not well understood, particularly across distinct tropical forest ecosystems where trees species have different growth habits and potential to reach different maximal size. In partic...
Article
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African universities are expected to help tackle challenges facing the African society and realise the aspirations of the Africa Agenda 2063 and the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in the current context of globalization of higher education. Unfortunately, there have been substantial challenges affecting Higher Education in Africa,...
Article
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The question whether the higher potential of agricultural food systems in Africa would be achieved in the next two decades is increasingly being debated, especially in the context of exponentially increasing human population and the continued low agricultural productivity compared to the rest of the world. Although significant progress has been mad...
Article
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Smallholder farmers make intensive use of anthelmintic plant species in the traditional treatment of animal parasitic infections. As a result, populations of these plant species are exposed to increased disturbances such as plant harvesting, threatening their stability. Information on population structure of threatened plant species is important no...
Article
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Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) R. Br. ex G. Don is one of the most common traditional parkland tree species that generates vital non-timber forest products and benefits for local people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite its socio-economic importance and value for local and regional economies, the species has remained at infant stage of domestication, yet de...
Article
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Coconut is a popular plantation crop with a growth habit requiring wide space between palms. With the amount of sunlight that reaches coconut understory, it is possible to use the between-palms space to grow other beneficial plants. Growing fertilizing shrubs within coconut rows can contribute to effective and sustainable use of coconut plantation...
Article
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Information on how biotic factors influence delivery of ecosystem services (ES) in natural systems is important for holistic landscape management. In this study, we assessed the perceived effects of elephants’ presence on ES supply in the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve in West Africa. A total of 112 respondents, including riparian communities and reser...
Article
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Agriculture is a vital activity that sustain millions of people livelihoods and build local, national and regional economies. Progress in agricultural development is expected to translate in living standards in rural areas, commodities value chains and commercialization. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa, rural development faces a number of challenges...
Article
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In the current context of demographic explosion, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, empirical research on aspects that relate to livelihoods is deemed to have considerable long-term implications for societal well-being and sustainable development. Whereas these aspects are various and include a wide range of specific issues from agriculture and fo...
Article
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Vitellaria paradoxa is one of the most economically important trees in West Africa. Although being a key component of most sub-Sahara agroforestry systems, little information and argument exist regarding its biomass and carbon potential. Here, we developed biomass equations for V. paradoxa tree components in Sudanian savannas. A destructive samplin...
Article
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Strychnos cocculoides Baker (Monkey orange) and Guibourtia coleosperma (Benth.) Leonard (False mopane) are two socio-economically important indigenous species for rural communities in the northern regions of Namibia. The exploitation of these indigenous species is causing rapid declines in the goods and services produced. In addition, nursery exper...
Article
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Information on how abiotic and biotic factors affect species population structures and regeneration are critical for understanding plant growth in natural habitats. Here, we used data from three spatially distinct populations of Afzelia africana Sm. in the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve in Benin, to determine how the species population structures respo...
Article
Information on forest structures are fundamentally important to keep track of successional vegetation dynamics for efficient forest management. This study reports on vegetation characteristics, dominance patterns and species height growth in a Northern Mistbelt forest type in South Africa. Common alpha-diversity indices (species richness and Shanno...
Article
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Information on forest structure is fundamentally important to track successional vegetation dynamics for efficient forest management. This study reports on vegetation characteristics, dominance patterns and species height growth in a northern mistbelt forest type in South Africa. Common alpha-diversity indices (species richness and Shannon–Weiner d...
Article
Full-text available
Coconut is a popular plantation crop with a growth habit requiring wide space between palms. With the amount of sunlight that reaches coconut understory, the between-palms space can be used to grow other beneficial plants. Growing fertilizing shrubs within coconut rows can contribute to effective and sustainable use of coconut plantation soil. In t...
Article
Full-text available
Forest stratification plays a crucial role in light interception and plant photosynthetic activities. However, despite the increased number of studies on biodiversity-ecosystem function, we still lack information on how stratification in tropical forests modulates biodiversity effects. Moreover, there is less investigation and argument on the role...
Article
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Bamboo is a multi-purpose woody grass with international and national interests accentuated by the promotion of green energy. In Asia, bamboo plantations are being successfully promoted and constitute important carbon sinks, while in Africa, they remain unimproved despite their potential service supply. In this study, we assessed ecosystem services...
Article
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Exploring taxonomic, functional, and structural diversity can provide additional insights into our understanding of diversity responses to environment. Using altitude, slope, and relative radiation index as well as floristic and functional data from a South Africa Afromontane forest, we examined how taxonomic, structural, and functional diversity v...
Article
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An old yet appealing fact in conservation biology is the potential of sacred groves (SGs) and forest reserves (FRs) to harbor considerable biodiversity. Although fragmentation effects have been extensively investigated in several studies, the specific context pertaining to SG has rarely been discussed. Using data from two sites (Kétou and Pobè) in...
Article
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A study was conducted to assess the potential of using coconut based agroforestry systems to improve soil quality of marginal coconut lands and to screen out the effective perennial forest species in revitalizing the soil properties in intermediate of Sri Lanka. Experiments were conducted on Andigama soils in Rathmalagara estate of Sri Lanka to ass...
Article
Honey bees play a vital role in the pollination of flowers in many agricultural systems, while providing honey through well managed beekeeping activities. Managed honey bees rely on the provision of pollen and nectar for their survival and productivity. Using data from field plot inventories in natural mistbelt forests, we (1) assessed the diversit...
Article
Ecosystem services (ESs) underpin human livelihoods around the world. Understanding how socio-environmental aspects influence stakeholders’ perceptions and use of ESs, is important for decision-making processes that target the social expectations. In this study, face-to-face interviews were conducted with eighty-six householders in four villages of...
Article
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The study aimed to investigate the relative significance of effects of climatic variability and human disturbance on the population structure of the threatened species Afzelia africana Sm. ex Pers. in the Republic of Benin in West Africa. Forest inventory data such as regeneration density, tree diameter and total height were compiled from A. africa...
Article
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This study assessed the woody flora composition of Afzelia africana Sm. habitats along a latitudinal gradient, from the northern limit of the species distribution to the Guinean littoral forest. Data were collected from 201 sample units located in different vegetation types that span four bioclimatic zones: Guinean, Sudano-Guinean, Sudanian and Sah...
Thesis
Full-text available
Ecosystem services (ES) are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Biodiversity is a relevant component in this context, as it supports most ecosystem functions. The worldwide decline in natural ecosystem biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems will likely limit the opportunities to improve the services provided if an explicit focus is not...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This article was inspired by a dialogue that transpired during the 5th All Africa Higher Education Week and Biennial Conference of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), held in October 2016. The conference gathered over 850 participants from 72 countries and is usually a convening event that brings together...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This volume presents six papers on sustainable agricultural intensification to improve Africa's land productivity. It introduces papers, among others, presented at the 5th African Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Biennial Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in October 2016 under the theme, 'Linking agricultural universities with civil society, t...
Article
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Novel species-specific equations for the estimation of height and aboveground biomass were established for four dominant tree species (Syzygium gerrardii Burtt Davy, Combretum kraussii Hochst., Trichilia dregeana Sond. and Croton sylvaticus Hochst.), in the Northern Mistbelt Forests of South Africa. A non-destructive sampling methodology was applie...
Article
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The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function has increasingly been debated as the cornerstone of the processes behind ecosystem services delivery. Experimental and natural field-based studies have come up with nonconsistent patterns of biodiversity–ecosystem function, supporting either niche complementarity or selection effects hypo...
Article
Full-text available
Biomass and carbon stocks are key information criteria to understand the role of forests in regulating global climate. However, for a bio-rich continent like Africa, ground-based measurements for accurate estimation of carbon are scarce, and the variables affecting the forest carbon are not well understood. Here, we present the first biomass study...
Article
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Biomass allocation is closely related to species traits, resources avail- ability and competitive abilities, and therefore it is often used to capture resource utilisation within plants. In this study, we searched for patterns in biomass alloca- tion between foliage and wood (stem plus branch), and how they changed with tree size (diameter), specie...
Article
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The study examined simultaneously, the effect of tree spatial distribution, inventory plot size and shape on the estimation error of basal area in two contrasting environments. Twenty and fifteen square plots of 1 ha each (divided into 100 quadrats of 0.01 ha) were randomly set in dense forest and woodland, respectively. Thirteen subplots of variou...
Article
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We assessed the diversity, knowledge, and use of antidiabetic plants by traditional healers, plant traders, and farmers from different locations in Benin. Altogether, 254 face-to-face interviews were conducted using a semistructured questionnaire. Plant diversity was described, based on species richness. Jaccard Index was used to examine the simila...
Article
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Traditional knowledge (TK), use, and economical values of three bamboo species—Oxytenanthera abyssinica (A.Rich.) Munro, Bambusa vulgaris Schrad. ex J.C.Wendl., and Dendrocalamus asper (Schult. & Schult. f.) Backer ex K.Heyne—were assessed in southeastern Benin. Individual interviews were used in 90 randomly selected villages, which cut across 10 s...
Article
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A study was carried out in two phytodistricts (Ouémé-Valley and Plateau) to assess the population structure of two bamboo species (Oxytenanthera abyssinica (A. Rich.) Munro and Bambusa vulgaris Schrad. ex J.C. Wendl.) in two topographical units: plateau and wetlands. In each phytodistrict bamboo stands were randomly selected in each topographical u...
Article
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Anthropogenic disturbances and climatic variations are presumed to alter species population structures. In this study,we assessed the population structure of the endangered species, Afzelia africana across gradients of climate and human disturbances. Dendrometric variables such as regeneration and tree density, mean diameter, basal area and height...