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Endogenous knowledge and human disturbance impact on abundance of two underutilized wild edible tree species in southern Benin


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This study assessed endogenous knowledge and impact of human disturbance on the abundance of two underutilized wild fruit tree species: Drypetes floribunda (Mu¨ll. Arg.) Hutch. (Euphorbiaceae) and Mimusops andongensis Hiern. (Sapotaceae) in the Lama Forest Reserve (LFR) in southern Benin. A survey was conducted with 145 randomly selected people amongst the surrounding communities of LFR in order to assess the endogenous knowledge of the species. One hundred square plots were established in the forest for characterizing species abundance in different habitats according to human disturbance degree. Results indicated that this species has multiple uses and either local knowledge on their uses or their organ plant uses depend on social factors. A densities assessment suggests a negative effect of human disturbance on the abundance of both species. Results support the need to envisage conservation and sustainable use strategies as perspective policies.
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OPEN ACCESS Research article
Endogenous knowledge and human
disturbance impact on abundance of
two underutilized wild edible tree
species in southern Benin
Elios Te
´maque Vitoule*, Thierry Houehanou, Barthe
´my Kassa,
Achille Ephrem Assogbadjo, Romain Gle
`Kakai, Julien Djego, Brice Sinsin
This study assessed endogenous knowledge and impact of human disturbance on the abundance of
two underutilized wild fruit tree species: Drypetes floribunda (Mu
¨ll. Arg.) Hutch. (Euphorbiaceae) and
Mimusops andongensis Hiern. (Sapotaceae) in the Lama Forest Reserve (LFR) in southern Benin.
A survey was conducted with 145 randomly selected people amongst the surrounding communities
of LFR in order to assess the endogenous knowledge of the species. One hundred square plots were
established in the forest for characterizing species abundance in different habitats according to human
disturbance degree. Results indicated that this species has multiple uses and either local knowledge
on their uses or their organ plant uses depend on social factors. A densities assessment suggests a
negative effect of human disturbance on the abundance of both species. Results support the need
to envisage conservation and sustainable use strategies as perspective policies.
Keywords: Drypetes floribunda,Mimusops andongensis, use, abundance, Lama Forest Reserve, Benin
Cite this article as: Vitoule ET, Houehanou T, Kassa B, Assogbadjo AE, Kakai RG, Djego J, Sinsin B.
Endogenous knowledge and human disturbance impact on abundance of two underutilized wild
edible tree species in southern Benin, QScience Connect 2014:15
Submitted: 21 January 2014
Accepted: 27 March 2014
ª2014 Vitoule, Houehanou, Kassa,
Assogbadjo, Kakai, Djego, Sinsin,
licensee Bloomsbury Qatar
Foundation Journals. This is an open
access article distributed under the
terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution license CC BY 4.0, which
permits unrestricted use,
distribution and reproduction in any
medium, provided the original work
is properly cited.
Laboratory of Applied Ecology,
University of Abomey-calavi,
Abomey-calavi, Benin
Numerous poor people in Africa and over the world live on forest resources, commonly called Non-
Timber Forest Products. These forest resources contribute to the livelihood needs of rural people in
terms of health, food and income at a local and global level.
Thus, forest areas have been severely
modified by human activities in the last few decades
and consequently biodiversity regression
followed by loss of native species, has become obvious. Biodiversity conservation is a major purpose
in nature conservation
and the evaluation of biodiversity status and the effect of anthropogenic
activities, together with ethnobotanical studies enable us to reach this objective.
Moreover, sustainable development of the last few decades has involved the promotion of use and
conservation of natural forest resources for improving peoples’ livelihood. Thus biodiversity conservation
is generally combined with use. Such an approach is not easily implemented and knowing the human
disturbance effects on resources has been used for guiding forest use and conservation of biodiversity.
Additionally in developing countries, scientists are very interested in underutilized wild fruit species
through research works focused on their sustainable use and conservation. In these countries there are
many wild species used by local people. In Benin data reveals a richness of approximately 3000 plant
amongst which 172 species are using as food,
and 814 as medicinal plants.
the use and status of most of these resources used by local people remain undocumented.
In the Lama Forest Reserve (LFR) many wild tree species are used for food and traditional
In this wide range of wild edible tree species, two that are underutilized are Mimusops
andongensis Hiern and Drypetes floribunda (Mu
¨ll. Arg.) A local evaluation, according to the
International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) criteria, classified Mimusops andongensis Hiern
as an endangered species (EN) in Benin.
But, this species has not been described in the flora of
This may indicate that the species is rare and was not checked off in the inventory studies.
Regarding Drypetes floribunda, scientific information is missing on its conservation status. Thus,
both species have undergone limited study for their sustainable use and conservation.
Moreover, LFR is the main habitat where large populations of these two wild tree species occur
at present in Benin.
This natural ecosystem is presently dominated by dense forests (typical and
degraded ones) and fallows. The fallows have been subjected to historical and current human
disturbances through agricultural settlings of surrounding people on the reserve. Historically degraded,
dense forest has also been subjected to human disturbance, more than typical dense forest.
According to some authors,
indigenous knowledge is an essential component in the biodiversity
conservation process; it is therefore necessary to be well informed on species that are used by people
to satisfy various needs. Additionally, evaluation of endogenous knowledge may allow us to valorize
the species and envisage strategies for its conservation. In Benin, many scientific studies have been
carried out on various uses of edible wild fruit species such as Adansonia digitata,
or Parkia biglobosa.
Despite the availability of some studies on M. andongensis and
D. floribunda in West Africa, in particular the Ivory Coast
and Nigeria,
scientific data on any
indigenous knowledge is poorly documented. How human disturbance impacts their abundance
has been seldom investigated. Thus, this study aims to assess: (1) local uses of those species and
(2) human disturbance impact on their abundance. These objectives will provide better guidance for
sustainable use and conservation of the tree species concerned.
2.1. Study area
The present study was carried out in the Lama Forest Reserve (LFR) located in southern Benin, in the
Guinean-Congolese zone, between 68550and 78000North latitude and 28040and 28120East
longitude. The climate is sub-equatorial with a bimodal rainfall varying between 1000 mm and 1200 mm
per year. The active vegetation period lasts 8 months. This vegetation is characterized by clay soil
and particular microclimate. The mean daily temperature ranges from 258Cto298C, while the mean
relative humidity is approximately 74.5%. Ethnobotanical data was collected in the villages
surrounding the LFR (Figure 1).
2.2. Study species
The Mimusops genus belongs to the Sapotaceae family; it involves 45 species. M. andongensis is the
only representative in southern Benin, especially in the LFR. The plant is a mesophanerophyte,
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Figure 1. Lama Forest Reserve location and surrounding villages.
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Vitoule et al. QScience Connect 2014:15
containing latex, with dense and very branchy leafage,
often grows in forest on clayey, periodically
flooded substratum.
Mimusops kummel is the second species of the genus, this is found in gallery
forest or tree savannah, in ferruginous and rocky soil in Benin.
As far as the Drypetes genus is
concerned, it is represented by 5 species of which D. floribunda is the only representative in LFR in
Benin. It is a cauliflower microphanerophyte, mostly found in the central Guinean phytodistrict
(southern Benin), corresponding to semi-deciduous forest areas established on clay soil in the
great median depression named “Lama”.
2.3. Sampling and data collection
2.3.1. Ethnobotanical survey
A preliminary sampling survey, on 100 persons randomly chosen among various ethnic groups was
carried out. The percentage of respondents knowing at least one use of D. floribunda and/or
M. andongensis was calculated at 60%. The global sample size was estimated according to the
following formula
Where N is the total number of surveyed people in the study; U2
=2is the value of the normal random
variable for a probability value of a¼0.05; U
¼1.96; p is the estimated proportion of people in
the village who know a use of D. floribunda and/or M. andongensis (p¼0.6); d is the expected error
margin of any parameter to be computed from the survey, which is fixed at 0.08. The calculated global
sample size N ¼145, was obtained and distributed among the selected ethnic groups: Aizo, Fon and
Holli. These groups have knowledge about the species and are represented in the study area.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted among these three ethnic groups to collect data
concerning name, sex, age, activities of people and uses of D. floribunda and M. andongensis.
Overall 145 (124 men and 21 women) people composed of three socio cultural groups such as Aı
¨zo (13),
Fon (41) and Holli (91) were interviewed. Interviews were conducted with people whom ages range
between 25 and 85 years old. Various socio-professional categories were also taken into account:
farmers (104), healers (18), merchants (09), forest guides (08) and others (06).
2.3.2. Density survey
One hundred square plots of 1 hectare (ha) were established in different habitats according to the
degree of human disturbance using information from a previous study
on habitat characterization in
LFR. In each plot all adult individuals of D. floribunda and M. andongensis were counted.
Regenerations were counted in diagonal quadrats (Figure 2). The regenerations are classified as an
individual with diameter of breast height (dbh) lower than 10 cm (dbh ,10 cm). But this scale was
reviewed for D. floribunda whose dbh of adult individual is often lower than 10 cm (Table 1).
2.4. Data analysis
2.4.1. Ethnobotanical data
Various quantitative indices and distribution across ethnic groups, gender (male and female) and
socio-professional categories were calculated to assess the level of knowledge. Three ethnic groups
were considered: Aizo, Fon and Holli. Subgroups were formed on the basis of the combination of
Figure 2. Sample unit of forest inventory.
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Vitoule et al. QScience Connect 2014:15
social factors. The diversity (DU) and equitability (EU) of use
was calculated. To assess the
significance of any difference in knowledge, the non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test was performed, at
5% with Minitab 14.
This test was performed taking into account non-compliance with the conditions
of normality. In order to obtain a more objective index, the use value index was determined
27 – 29
Ui ð2Þ
Where Ui is the number of different uses mentioned by each informant i and N is the total number
of informants interviewed. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) based on that index value was
performed with SAS 9.2, in order to assess correlations between uses and subgroups.
2.4.2. Density data
The densities were characterized by each considered habitat according to the degree of human
disturbance. The average value was calculated at the plot level. The formula used to calculate the value
N of the adult density is:
Where nis the overall number of trees in the plot, and sthe area (1 ha).
The density of regeneration N
is computed as indicated below
N;Nrl ¼1
yli ð4Þ
¼mean density of each species regeneration within group l(l¼1, 2, 3, 4); N¼total number of
plots within the global sampling; y
¼regeneration density of D. floribunda/M. andongensis within
the ith plot of group lof the stand.
Defined live stage classes were inspired from a previous study in the same area.
Height was
measured with a relascope and diameter with a calliper. Table 1 shows the considered live stages
for calculating regeneration densities.
Density values of each species were subjected to one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) according to
the degree of human disturbance. Densities have been compared between investigated habitats
according to disturbance degree. Statistical analyses were implemented using SAS 9.2 software.
3.1. Diversity and distribution of knowledge
The total values of interviewee diversity and equitability obtained (,0.5) indicate that knowledge
about the uses are distributed unequally, involving only a section of the people have knowledge on
one of the two species. Indeed, for D. floribunda, men diversity and equitability values (ID ¼0.302,
IE ¼0.423) were higher than the women (ID ¼0.252, IE ¼0.352), while an opposite scheme was
observed in the case of M. andongensis (ID ¼0.351, IE ¼0.497 for men and ID ¼0.374, IE ¼0.524 for
women). According to age, people over 40 years of age have more knowledge. But these indices values
were not significantly different ( p.0.05). This is due to the fact that some interviewees had little
knowledge of the species but almost all people interviewed knew a specific use for them, mainly the
food use (fruits’ consumption). As far as socio-professional categories are concerned, traditional
healers showed the highest values, followed by forest guides, then farmers and traders, however these
values were not significantly different. Regarding the variation between social and cultural groups,
Table 1. Names and dendrometrical characteristics of live stages of regeneration.
D. floribunda M.andongensis
Name Height scale Diameter scale Height scale Diameter scale
Sub juvenile h ,2 m dbh ,2cm h#2m –
Juvenile h $2m 2cm#dbh ,4cm h$2 m dbh ,7cm
Young tree h $2m 4cm#dbh ,5cm h$2m 7cm#dbh ,10 cm
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it was observed that the Holli population hold more knowledge than the Fon and Aizo populations.
This knowledge is linked to each removed organ on the plants.
3.2. Use values of organs and its relation with ethnic group and gender
Use values calculated by ethnic group and sex were subjected to Principal Component Analysis (PCA).
The results indicate that 93.56% and 89.19% of ethnobotanical information are explained by the initial
both axes, for D. floribunda and M. andongensis respectively. Therefore, only these axes were used to
describe the relationship between ethnic groups, gender and plant organs. Organs of D. floribunda and
M. andongensis were positively correlated with axis 1, except seeds that correlated with axis 2 (Table 2
(Figure 3)).
The projection of ethnic groups in the system of axes (Figure 4) indicates that Holli men (HM: 85%)
and Fon men (FM:88%) have a good knowledge on the use of leaves, bark, stems, fruits and roots for
both species. Moreover, among interviewed people, Holli women (HW:16%) have more knowledge of
the use of seeds and fruit of both species.
As far as Aizo men (AM:69%) are concerned, they have a good knowledge on the use of D. floribunda
stems. The other groups have little knowledge on the use of the species organs.
Thirty nine and thirty four uses were inventoried for D. floribunda (Table 3) and M. andongensis
(Table 4), respectively. For both species, use values of leaves are higher than other organs.
3.3. Agreement on the types of use
The index values of use types’ changed by species (Table 5). However, both species were highly
appreciated for their delicious fruit and for the quality of their wood. Both species are used for
medicinal purposes and a same value of consensus (CTU ¼0.019) was obtained. The other uses
included fertilizer and vegetable brush that were mentioned by respondents.
Table 2. Correlations between organ use and ethnic group and gender.
D. floribunda M. andongensis
Organs Axis 1 Axis 2 Axis1 Axis 2
Leaves 0.46 20.32 0.43 20.29
Bark 0.49 20.22 0.48 20.01
Root 0.44 0.30 0.46 20.11
Stem 0.43 20.36 0.44 0.25
Fruits 0.39 0.48 0.37 0.57
Seed 0.14 0.64 20.21 0.73
Figure 3. Representation of individuals on the initial both axes for D. floribunda (left) and M. andongensis (right).
Legends FM ¼Fon Men. FW ¼Fon Women. AM ¼
¨zo Men. AW ¼
¨zo Women. HM ¼Holli Men. HW ¼Holli
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3.4. Use categories and homogeneity of knowledge on medicinal use type
Medicinal use recorded a greater number of use categories. Disease symptoms are gathered in 5 use
categories, such as symptoms of asthenia (general tiredness, convalescence, sexual weakness etc.),
symptoms of skin infection (scabies, itches, measles etc.), digestive system disease symptoms
(constipation, stomach ache, vomiting etc.), conception (easy-pregnancy) and common diseases
(malaria, fever, anemia, bellies). Asthenia diseases occupied first place among the different categories
(UD ¼0.36 for D. floribunda and UD ¼0.28 for M. andongensis). The corresponding values of
equitability index indicated a homogeneous distribution of knowledge among respondents
regarding the problems of asthenia (UE ¼0.99 and UE ¼0.89 for D. floribunda and M. andongensis
respectively). The others use categories such as skin, digestive and conception diseases have
the lowest value of indexes (0.1; 0.07; 0.07) for D. floribunda and (0.06; 0.04; 0.02) for
M. andongensis respectively.
Figure 4. Pictures showing stem morphology: (a) stem blackish-brown with bumps and (b) reddish-brown
without bumps of M. andongensis (c) straight or erected stem with bumps and (d) tilted/laid stem with upright
branches of D. floribunda.
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3.5. Consensus on the forms of use
Organs of these plants are used in various forms on a medicinal level (Table 6). The most common
is the decoction. According to the treated affections, organs are used in decoction alone or in
combination with other plant organs or ingredients. It is followed by maceration in water. Most different
forms of use were observed for D. floribunda rather than M. andongensis.
3.6. Stem morphology of D. floribunda and M. andongensis
Some differences were observed on the plants stem morphology. Regarding M. andongensis the stem
had a blackish or blackish brown color and bumps. According to interviewees, stems carrying bumps
are the male, while female individuals were not bumped. As far as D. floribunda is concerned, the stem
is brown and greenish with white marks in some places. They are erected with bumps or sometimes
inclined with small upright branches emerging from representative bumps (Figure 4). However, most
people interviewed have not mentioned any ethnobotanical interest in these differences. Moreover,
individuals of M. andongensis without bumps were found on land liable to flooding or around ponds.
Concerning D. floribunda, individuals whose stems are erected were found in fallows, while those
whose stems are tilted or laid are found in forests.
3.7. Impact of human disturbance on abundance of D. floribunda and M. andongensis
Densities of adult and regeneration individuals of D. floribunda and M. andongensis across various
habitats according to human disturbance degree were summarized in Table 7. Results showed that
whatever the live stage, densities values were greater in least disturbed habitats (typical and degraded
dense forests) compared to the most disturbed ones (young and old fallows), but the difference
was not always significant. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), indicated a high significant difference
(Prob. ,0.05) between density values of some life stages between typical dense forest and degraded
one. For both species, juvenile density was statistically different between typical dense forest and
degraded forest, while sub juvenile density remained similar (P.0.05). Young and adults tree
densities showed a high significant difference (P,0.05) between typical dense forest and degraded
forest in the case of D. floribunda, while their values were similar for M. andongensis.
Table 4. Use values (UV) of M. andongensis organs.
Organs Uses UV
Roots Urinary incontinence, Easy-pregnancy, Sore, hemorrhoid, Obesity, Oedema,
Stomach ache, Opened fontanel, Magic protection, Tonic
Leaves Malaria, Icterus, Tonic, Constipation (To pass a motion easily), Convulsion,
Osteoarthritis, Stomach ache, Sore, Magic protection, Oedema, Scabies.
Bark Tonic, Sanguinolent vomiting, Measles, Anemia, Magic protection,
Easy-pregnancy, Malaria, Dermatosis, Stomach ache, Vermifuge
Stem Building, Sculpture, tom-tom, Mask, Fetish ritual, Tonic (weaned child),
the child who delay to walking, Easy-pregnancy
Fruit Consummation, Convulsion, Buccal sore of child, Tonic, Easy-pregnancy 0.035
Table 3. Use values (UV) of D. floribunda organs.
Organs Uses UV
Roots Tonic, Malaria, Aphrodisiac, Headache, Osteoarthritis, Paralysis, Easy-pregnancy,
To be brave (magic ritual), To be lucky (magic ritual).
Leaves Oedema, Malaria, Convulsion, Scabies, Itches, Blood-pressure, Vertigo,
Easy-pregnancy, Sterility, Cough, Measles, Urogenital depurative,
Child who delay to walking, Constipation, Tonic, Ache, Pain, Magic protection.
Bark Scabies, Itches, Stomach ulcer, Blurred vision, Urinary incontinence, Hallucinations. 0.041
Stem Aphrodisiac, Magic protection, Tonic, Osteoarthritis, Toothpick, Tool handles,
Catapult, Statuettes.
Fruit Consummation, Tonsillitis, Tonic, Aphrodisiac, Easy-pregnancy, Farm input 0.041
Seed Farm input 0.007
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4.1. Knowledge, uses and stem morphology of D. floribunda and M. andongensis
Investigations revealed that people have significant knowledge on D. Floribunda and M. andongensis.
The total values of diversity and equitability indicated an inequality in the distribution of knowledge
and uses according to ethnic groups. In addition, many forest guides and farmers practice traditional
healing as secondary activities and harvest a relatively large part of the organs. The relative small
difference observed between the values of the index reflects this situation. These results are similar to
those performed on Vitex Doniana
and on Mondia whitei.
An intracultural variation on the
knowledge according to gender and age was also observed. This corroborates several local
international works
35 – 37
that have found that the level of knowledge on a species depends on age.
This involves a risk of erosion of indigenous knowledge because it is held by older people.
according to these authors, the stability of endogenous systems of knowledge can be affected by
cultural variation of knowledge on plant species. In this study, the knowledge held by the Holli
compared to others ethnic groups involved, implies that Holli people should be regarded as very
important in the conservative of indigenous knowledge in Benin.
Consequently they should be
targeted for future investigations related to local knowledge on these tree species. In addition, both
species are qualified here as multipurpose species in view of the variability of their functions supplied
to people: food, medicinal needs and artisanal fabrication.
Thus, organ harvesting appears to be
linked to the needs of people and cultural differences.
The medicinal virtue identified through this study was not confirmed as in the case of some species
such as Sarcocephalus latifolius,
6,41 – 44
Mondia whitei
45 – 47
and Parkia biglobosa.
studies are requisite to prove therapeutic properties of D. floribunda and M. andongensis in order to
promote their use in traditional and industrial medicine.
This study also identified stem morphology of D. floribunda and M. andongensis based on the shape
and color of the stem, respectively. These morphological distinctions may be related to environmental
factors, such as the degree of soil hydromorphic (M. andongensis), forest cover (closed or opened
habitat) or species density (D. floribunda). Indeed, some authors
34,49 – 51
had linked morphological
changes with climatic gradients, habitat or environmental factors. It would be interesting to investigate
ecological factors that are able to influence species phenotype in order to give an explanation of these
morphological changes. In the case of M. andongensis, interviewed people distinguished the species
into male and female. However these distinctions are not justified scientifically, therefore we were not
able to prove them. Distinction criteria used by people could be used to choose plant organs according
to the type of use and the treated disease symptoms. This highlights the necessity to investigated
biochemical properties of the species. Moreover, it could be hypothesized that regeneration by layering
for D. floribunda may involve morphological change of its stem.
4.2. Impact of human disturbance on abundance of D. floribunda and M. andongensis
It was observed that adult densities of species were lower in highly disturbed habitats (young or old
fallows) than in habitats that are less disturbed (degraded or typical dense forest). Meanwhile, typical
Table 6. Forms of use and consensus values (CMU).
Forms of use D. floribunda M. andogensis
Decoction 0.686 0.672
Maceration 0.137 0.164
Reducing powder 0.020 0.131
Alcoholic extract 0.059 0.033
Trituration 0.059
Ember 0.039 –
Table 5. Values of types of use (CTU).
Type of use Food Medicinal Artisanal Combustible Ritual Construction Others
D. floribunda 0.045 0.019 0.038 0.008 0.004 0.022 0.006
M. andogensis 0.036 0.019 0.007 0.014 0.008 0.047 0.012
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dense forests hold great values of densities of adult individuals of D. Floribunda and M. andongensis.
Indeed, fallows are exploited and degraded by the surrounding people for several years. In these
habitats, inventories showed that most of the main forest species are rare. The impact of human
activity is harmful globally on wild species and in particular on both the studied species. These results
corroborate a study that showed the negative impact of human disturbance on adult densities of some
valuable tree species such as Afzelia africana,Pterocarpus erinaceus and Khaya senegalensis.
However, according to other study,
tree abundance is not only the result of human disturbance
but several others factors, such as climate or microclimate, soil properties, fire regimes and herbivory
all have an effect. According to regeneration density, the same trend was found. High values of
regeneration densities were observed in degraded and typical dense forests. These results may
suggest that habitat type with adult individuals should be able to accommodate juveniles.
Consequently sexual reproduction should be appropriated for these species. Previous works have
shown that the recruitment rate would be limited by several factors such as seed and light availability.
Indeed, the weak recruitment rate of these species could be due to old age that affects the regeneration
potential of seeds of species individuals.
Moreover, these species are heliophilous and their
growth could be influenced by canopy cover. Also, the presence of invasive plants such as
Chromolaena odorata, an herbaceous plant could hinder seed germination.
On the other hand,
the fruits of these species are very palatable by animals; so it is possible that the seeds are damaged
and cannot regenerate when they fall.
4.3. Implication for sustainable use and conservation
The consequences of human activities remain visible especially on the abundance of these tree
species. Although, protective measures have existed, unlawful use is indicating the dependence of
surrounding people on forest resources for their livelihood. But interviewees are not totally aware of the
disturbance effect on these species. Thus, protection strategies need to be popularized among the
surrounding people of LFR. According to some authors,
human activities, in particular unlawful use,
are considered a major threat to the future of the tropical forest reserve. Therefore, sustainable use
strategies are required to help surrounding people sustain their livelihood. This ecosystem appears to
be the only one in Benin that contains great populations of D. floribunda and M. andongensis. Specific
studies on threat factors and the impact of harvesting are necessary in this area to help future viability.
In Benin and other West African countries, there is a cultural practice existing to preserve useful wild
fruit species on farmed land.
However, studied species are not yet preserved on the surrounding farmed
land of the Lama Forest Reserve. Indeed, in these surrounding agroforestry parklands, individual
D. floribunda and M. andongensis have not been observed during field investigation. Some interviewees
reported that these species have disappeared from agricultural lands due to increasing human pressure.
Therefore, local conservation strategy, for example their introduction in home gardens or in agricultural
land, could be promoted for their sustainable use. Complementary research work on the reproduction
biology, as in the case of several valuable tree species: Blighia sapida,
58– 60
Adansonia digitata,
Vittelaria paradoxa,
Milicia excelsa,
Tamarindus indica,
Vitex doniana,
Parkia biglobosa
should be encouraged for enhancing domestication and conservation of these tree species.
Table 7. Density values (stems/ha) and coefficient of variation (cv) of both species.
Sub juvenile Juvenile Young tree Adult
Species Habitat types Average cv (%) Average cv (%) Average cv (%) Average cv (%)
D. floribunda Degraded dense forest 1.00
316.23 16.00
200.26 10.00
194.27 15.50
Typical dense forest 1.46
315.97 46.25
156.85 39.38
121.00 35.29
Young fallow 0.00
– 0.69
538.52 1.03
395.61 0.59
Old fallow 0.00
– 1.54
360.56 0.77
360.56 0.62
Probability 0.243 0.001 0.000 ,0.000
M. andongensis Degraded dense forest 1.00
316.23 7.00
151.34 6.00
116.53 15.50
Typical dense forest 0.83
335.17 15.42
184.90 3.96
178.56 20.60
Young fallow 0.00
– 0.00
– 2.07
326.26 1.52
Old fallow 0.00
– 0.77
360.56 0.00
– 0.08
Probability 0.284 0.007 0.097 ,0.000
In the same column (same live stage) of a given species, average values followed by same letter are not significantly different at
probability ¼0.05 (Student Newman and Keuls text).
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Finally, both studied species are multipurpose wild edible plants used by local people on various
levels. The knowledge of these plant species are diverse, but unevenly distributed within ethnic groups,
with the majority of knowledge held by older people. This knowledge also depends on gender. The Holli
ethnic group had the highest level of knowledge on the different uses of these species. All organs of the
species are harvested generally for food and medicinal needs. These tree species are underutilized.
Their uses are well known at local levels. Exploited habitats for various needs are unable to hold more
individuals of M. andongensis and D. floribunda. Some conservation policies integrating these species
have been discussed for their sustainable use.
All authors have made an intellectual contribution towards each step of this research.
ETV has made acquisition, interpretation and analysis of data, designed and performed fieldwork,
and drafted the manuscript.
TDH has been involved in manuscript drafting and revising it for important intellectual content.
AEA has made substantial contributions to conception, design of work and involvement in
data collection.
JD, RGK and BK gave conceptual advice, read and corrected the drafted manuscript.
BS supervised the work and improved the manuscript.
All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.
We thank all interviewees of the surrounding villages of LFR and all those who have contributed towards the
achievement of this work.
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... Magnoliopsida, order Ebenales/Ericales and to the family In national languages, Mimusops andongensis Hiern Sapotaceae. Mimusops andongensis Hiern is a Wild is called bohê [10] or afoutin in Fon [11] and égui ochéé Edible Fruit Tree (WFET) listed among food and medicinal in Holli [10], for others in Fon it is called kinwi and in populations [1][2][3][4]. This predisposes it to a potential threat. ...
Full-text available
Wood is a multifunctional anisotropic biomaterial. It is used in various fields, including the craft industry and the construction of structural works. In heavy construction or in wetlands, species with high technological characteristics are sought after. Mimusops andongensis is a species empirically identified as having good technological properties. However, none of these reference characteristics are known. Thus, to fill this gap, we tested 500 mm × 20 mm × 20 mm prismatic specimens of Mimusops andongensis wood using CIRAD-Forest's acoustic BING (Beam Identification by Non-destructive Grading) method to determine density , Young's modulus E and shear modulus G, internal friction tan and then evaluated the specific stiffness modulus E/. On other 20 mm side cubic specimens, we evaluated the physical properties. From this investigation, Mimusops andongensis timber is a heavy to very heavy timber with high modulus. Its volume shrinkage is moderate with low tangential and medium radial shrinkage. Its low shrinkage anisotropy predicts low distortional and splitting deformation. Its specific stiffness is high on the order of (18 ± 1) GPa for a low internal friction of (0.64 ± 0.15) × 10. In a humid environment, the loss of mechanical properties, by increasing 2 its moisture content, even by 20 %, leaves Mimusops andongensis timber in the range of woods with very appreciable properties. Referring to the highly valued species, it can be used in works both in structure and acoustics.
... It is estimated that close to one billion people in the world rely on some NTFPs for their livelihood [21,22,2]. Due to the free and open access to this great variety of biological resources, many Africans depend on them for their livelihood [23,24]. [25] identifies urbanization, agricultural growth, real estate speculation and tourism as factors responsible for habitat destruction due mainly to human activities. ...
Full-text available
This article put the emphasis on the importance in food security of Non Timber Forest Products and particularly of the ackee (Blighia sapida). It puts forward its socio-economic role for the households of the department Atacora through the uses and the functions of B. sapida in Northwestern Bénin. In fact, the resource-specie Blighia sapida functions seem undervalued and little known comparatively with the wood exploitation of the forest belts. This article underlines the traditional, cultural and agroforestry functions of B. sapida which are daily exploited in many ways by the rural households of districts of Kouaba and Toucountouna in the department Atacora.
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For practical reasons, estimating seed production in tropical forest is only possible by sampling. Classical sampling designs (random or systematic) give poor estimations of seed abundance. The spatial disposition of the trees, combined with nonuniform seed dispersal, leads to a highly heterogeneous spatial distribution of the seeds. We propose a random stratified sampling design based on a model that takes account of seed dispersal processes and the location of the trees. We assume a gamma distribution for dispersal distances. The overall seed dispersal area is divided into adjacent quadrats. In each quadrat, the number of seeds follows a Poisson distribution with the mean derived from the model. We estimate model parameters from the results of a previous study and give the variance of the Horvitz–Thompson estimator of population total for stratified and random sampling designs. A simulation study is used to find the optimal number of strata, and the performance of the sampling design is evaluated. For each model, we compared the variance of the estimator of population total obtained with the stratified sampling design with that obtained with the random sampling design with the same sample size. The stratified sampling design is, on average, 25 times as precise as the random sampling design.
Full-text available
The present study occurred in the three climatic zones of Benin (6°25 -12° N) and aimed at investigating the level of morphometric and genetic variation and spatial genetic structure within and between threatened baobab populations. A total of 137 individuals from six populations were analysed using morphometric data as well as molecular marker data generated with the AFLP technique. Five primer pairs resulted in a total of 217 scored bands with 78.34% of them being polymorphic. A two-level AMOVA revealed 82.37% of the total variation within populations and 17.63% among populations (P<0.001). Analysis of population structure with allele-frequency based F-statistics revealed a global FST of 0.127±0.072 (P<0.001). The mean gene diversity within populations (Hw) and the average gene diversity among populations (Hb) were estimated at 0.309±0.000 and 0.045±0.072, respectively. Baobabs in the Sudanian and Sudan-Guinean zones of Benin were short and produced the highest yields of pulp, seeds and kernels in contrast to the ones in the Guinean zone. The molecular results indicate some degree of physical isolation of the populations collected in the different climatic zones. We also found morphological differences but further analysis must be done to establish their origin which is certainly an interaction between genotype and environment. Sampling options of the natural populations are suggested for in or ex situ conservation.
Herbal medicine is readily available in diverse African vegetation with the potentials of introducing new templates into medicine worldwide. Evaluating plants from the traditional African system of medicine provides us with clues on how these plants can be used in the treatment of diseases. In vitro effect of Nauclea latifolia extract in hot water, cold water, petroleum ether and chloroform at concentrations of 200, 150, 100, 50% were tested on some pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Using agar diffusion punch hole method, both the aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the leaves and roots showed appreciable inhibitory effect when compared to the positive control on S. aureus and P. aeruginosa while S. typhi and E. coli were resistant to the extracts. Using serial doubling dilution, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined. The minimum bacteria concentration was determined by plating various dilutions of the extracts without turbidity. Aqueous and alcoholic extracts of N. latifolia showed inhibitory and bactericidal activity on the test organisms. The alcoholic extracts showed larger zone of inhibition on the test organisms. The alcohol leaf extracts showed a higher percentage of growth inhibition when compared to the positive control. The MIC ranges from 6.25 - 150 mg/ml on S. aureus and 12.5 - 150 mg/ml for P. aeruginosa. The MBC ranges from 100 - 150 mg/ml. The phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of saponin, resins, alkaloids, and carbohydrate.
Dans le cadre d’un programme général de maintien de la biodiversité de la Réserve de Biosphère de la Pendjari, un inventaire des espèces médicinales utilisées pour le traitement des troubles liés à l’allaitement etdes troubles menstruels a été effectué. A cet effet, une étude ethnobotanique sur les plantes galactogènes et emménagogues a été conduite dans les terroirs riverains à la Zone Cynégétique de la Pendjari auprès des tradithérapeutes et personnes ressources de la zone d’étude. Les résultats de cette étude ont permis d’identifier, d’une part, 57 plantes médicinales intervenant dans le traitement des troubles menstruels et d’allaitement. Ces plantes sont réparties dans 31 familles dont les plus représentées sont les Leguminoseae (17,9%), et les Combretaceae (8,6%). D’autre part, 157 recettes issues de différentes associations de ces plantes sont fournies par les populations pour traiter les troubles menstruels et ceux liés à l’allaitement. Différentes parties de ces plantes entrent dans la composition des recettes. Il s’agit surtout des feuilles (31%), des racines (31%) et des écorces (18%). Les recettes sont administrées soit par voie orale, par inhalation ou application sur les parties du corps à traiter. Mots clés: Tradithérapeutes, plantes médicinales, troubles menstruels, allaitement, Pendjari, Bénin.
This aim of this study was to evaluate the activities of crude extracts from some medicinal plants from Côte d’Ivoire against Candida albicans, free radicals, Gram positive (Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram negative (Proteus mirabilis, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) bacteria. 36 extracts (28 methanolic and 8 dichloromethane) from 20 plant species and 12 families have been tested. Of the 36 extracts, 18 (50 %) showed antifungal activity and free radical scavenging potency. 19 extracts were screened for antibacterial activity against different strains of bacteria, some of which were multidrug resistant bacteria. 8 extracts (42 %) were active against the tested bacteria, except Escherichia coli, with MIC ranging between 375 and 12 µg/ml. The most promising species was Erythrina senegalensis which showed strong positive activity in all 3 tests. The other active species were Cussonia arborea for antifungal activity, Ficus platyphylla and Pterocarpus erinaceus for antibacterial activity and Dioscorea minutiflora for antioxidant potential. For most of the studied species, the antifungal and antioxidant activities were reported here for the first time. Keywords: Antibacterial, Antifungal, Côte d’Ivoire, Free radical scavengers, Medicinal plants.