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Multipurpose NTFP species typically experience higher harvest demand because of their multiple uses, which, when combined with unsustainable land use practices, may threaten population viability. We assessed local knowledge on the uses, habitat, and population status of Mimusops andongensis and Mimusops kummel, both multipurpose NTFP species in Benin, to promote their valorization and conservation and thus sustain local knowledge on their uses for domestication issues. One hundred households were randomly selected for structured interviews for M. andongensis and 500 for M. kummel. The relationship between age, sex, and ethnic groups and the species uses was assessed using comparison and correspondence analyses. Nearly all organs of the species were used. Both species were mainly exploited for medicinal purposes but also in construction and as firewood. We found similarities in some uses of the species organs, although the species occur in different ecological zones and are used by different ethnic groups. This result should be considered for the valorization of the species. Most informants reported that populations of M. andongensis were decreasing, although some felt that they were increasing, whereas less than one-third said that M. kummel was decreasing. There were strong relationships between gender, age, and ethnic affiliation of the users and the exploited organs of both species. Potential uses exist based on both the past and current uses of the species and in comparison to other countries where they are exploited. Local ethnoecological knowledge and practices will help to valorize and conserve the species. However, further research on the species’ seed germination and propagation ability are also necessary.
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Local Knowledge on the Uses, Habitat, and Change in Abundance
of Multipurpose Mimusops Species in Benin
Laboratoire dEcologie Appliquée, Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques, Université dAbomey-Calavi, 01
BP 526, Cotonou, Benin
Laboratoire de Biomathématiques et dEstimations Forestières, Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques,
Université dAbomey-Calavi, 01 BP 526, Cotonou, Benin
Department of Environmental Sciences, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
*Corresponding author; e-mail:
Multipurpose NTFP species typically experience higher harvest demand because of their multiple uses, which,
when combined with unsustainable land use practices, may threaten population viability. We assessed local
knowledge on the uses, habitat, and population status of Mimusops andongensis and Mimusops kummel,
both multipurpose NTFP species in Benin, to promote their valorization and conservation and thus sustain local
knowledge on their uses for domestication issues. One hundred households were randomly selected for
structured interviews for M.andongensis and 500 for M.kummel. The relationship between age, sex, and
ethnic groups and the species uses was assessed using comparison and correspondence analyses. Nearly all
organs of the species were used. Both species were mainly exploited for medicinal purposes but also in
construction and as firewood. We found similarities in some uses of the species organs, although the species
occur in different ecological zones and are used by different ethnic groups. This result should be considered for
the valorization of the species. Mostinformants reportedthat populations of M.andongensis were decreasing,
although some felt that they were increasing, whereas less than one-third said that M.kummel was
decreasing. There were strong relationships between gender, age, and ethnic affiliation of the users and the
exploitedorgans of both species. Potential uses existbased on both the past and currentuses of the species and
in comparison to other countries where they are exploited. Local ethnoecological knowledge and practices will
help to valorize and conserve the species. However, further research on the speciesseed germination and
propagation ability are also necessary.
Les espèces de PFNL à usage multiple font particulièrement face à une demande plus élevée qui, combinée
avec les pratiques destructrices dutilisation des terres, peut constituer une menace pour la viabilité des
populations. Cette étude vise à identifier les connaissances locales sur les usages, habitats et le statut de la
population de 2 espèces de PFNL à usage multiple au Bénin, Mimusops andongensis et Mimusops kummel,
afin de promouvoir leur valorisation et conservation et ainsi maintenir les connaissances endogènes sur leurs
utilisations à des fins de domestication. Cent ménages ont été aléatoirement interviewés pourM.andongensis
et 500 pour M.Kummel. La variation des usages des 2 espèces entre les groupes dage, de sexe et ethniques a
été évaluée aux moyens des analyses de comparaison etde lanalyse factorielle des correspondances. Presque
tous les organes des espèces sont exploités, principalement à des fins médicinaux, mais aussi pour la
construction et comme bois de feu. Il existe de similarité dans certains usages des organes des 2 espèces, bien
quelles soient exploitées dans différentes zones écologiques par différentes ethnies. La majorité des
Received 17 March 2016; accepted 27 February
2017; published online ___________
Economic Botany, XX(X), 2017, pp. 118
© 2017, by The New York Botanical Garden Press, Bronx, NY 10458-5126 U.S.A.
interviewés a rapporté une décroissance des populations de M.andongensis bien que pour certains elles
auraient augmenté, tandis que environ 1/3 ont rapporté une décroissance des populations de M.kummel.Ily
a une différence significative danslusage des organes des 2 espècespar les groups dâge,de sexe et ethniques.
Compte tenu de leurs usages passés et actuelles et en comparaison à dautres pays où elles sont exploitées, il
existe du potentiel dutilisation desespèces. Les connaissances endogènes, ainsique des essaies de germination
et de propagation aideront à leur valorisation et conservation.
Key Words:Non-timber forest products, local knowledge, ethnobotany, ethnoecology, medicinal plants,
Mimusops andongensis,Mimusops kummel.
Worldwide, people harvest a wide range of forest
products (non-timber forest products; NTFPs)
which greatly contribute to their diet, health, ener-
gy, and other aspects of their welfare (Shackleton
and Pandey 2014). Although a recent meta-analysis
concluded that in most cases, the harvesting of
NTFPs is ecologically sustainable (Stanley et al.
2012), the threat or reality of overharvesting is real
for many NTFP species, particularly multipurpose
ones, and contexts (Shackleton et al. 2009;Ticktin
et al. 2012; Gaoue et al. 2013). For example, the
concurrent harvesting of leaves and bark can nega-
tively impact the population viability of tree species
more than the harvesting of leaves only (Ticktin and
Shackleton 2011). Also, the exploitation of trees for
both timber and NTFPs may present a high poten-
tial of conflict of use for either product (Herrero-
Jáuregui et al., 2013). However, the impact of mul-
tiple uses on species population can be location
specific depending on the biology, level of use,
geographical distribution, and ecological resilience
of the species in question. Moreover, NTFP species
face threats from conversion of forest lands to non-
forest lands and shifts in ecological processes
coupled with invasion by alien species (e.g., Rist
et al. 2008;Sinassonetal.2016). Therefore, it is
vital to understand local peoplesuses and depen-
dency on NTFPs and threats to natural habitats,
which will allow for development of policies and
strategies to promote sustainable use and conserva-
tion at species, community, and landscape scales.
This will also help to maintain local knowledge
related to the uses of indigenous species, which are
highly pertinent for domestication strategies
(Chekole et al. 2015).
Mimusops andongensis Hiern and Mimusops
kummel Bruce ex A. DC (Sapotaceae) are two
multipurpose NTFP species widely used in
many African countries (Lemmens et al.
2010). Their wood is used to produce charcoal
and firewood, as well as for construction and timber
(Lemmens 2005; Bekele-Tesemma 2007;
Lemmens et al. 2010). The fruits, seeds, bark, roots,
and leaves are used for local healthcare needs and
the fruit and bark for alimentary uses. For example,
the fresh, tasty fruits of M.kummel are used to
supplement the diet, especially duringfood shortage
seasons (Teketay et al. 2010). When dried, the ripe
fruits are pounded and the powder is used to make
juice or a local brew(Ruffo et al. 2002). M.kummel
is a nationally marketable fruit tree in Ethiopia and
has been chosen as a priority species for the devel-
opment of indigenous fruit trees in Eastern Africa.
In traditional medicine, the seeds are used to cure
ascariasis and the roots as a laxative and
galactagogue. The leaves of M. andongensis are used
to treat skin infections (Soro et al. 2010). The fruits
are also consumed by monkeys and birds in forests
(e.g., Nombimè and Sinsin 2003; Moscovice et al.
Until recently, there was limited knowledge
on the uses and conservation status of both
species in West Africa. In Benin, studies have
investigated M.andongensis uses and population
profile in Lama Forest reserve (Lokonon 2008), but
not further afield. Despite its possible widespread
local use, nothing is formally documented on the
use or ecology of M.kummel in Benin. Such infor-
mation will help to assess the value of the species
and guide effective actions concerning their valori-
zation and conservation,if needed. However, Benin
is facing severe pressures on indigenous forests,
including overexploitation, changing land use, graz-
ing and bushfires, invasive species, and variation in
climatic conditions. For example, Benin has lost
50,000 ha of forest annually between 2000 and
2010 (FAO 2011). Consequently, many indige-
nous species are threatened, including Adansonia
digitata L. (Assogbadjo et al. 2005), Pentadesma
butyracea Sabine (Avocèvou-Ayisso et al. 2009),
Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst. (Gouwakinnou
et al. 2009), and Tamarindus indica L. (Fandohan
et al. 2010a). Under such circumstances, multipur-
pose species are particularly at risk of both
overharvesting and loss through forest conversion
(e.g., Thompson et al. 2013;Sinassonetal.2016),
potentially undermining the well-being of user
households and communities. Thus, diminished
stocks or loss is not just about conservation but also
of social and development concern.
Within the content of the above, this study
aimed to (1) assess the proportion of local house-
holds who use or used M.andongensis and M.
kummel in Benin, which parts and for what pur-
poses; (2) analyze how the species knowledge and
uses vary among sex, age, and ethnic groups; (3)
analyze if there is any similarity in the uses of the
two species; and (4) assess local knowledge on the
occurrence habitat and change in abundance of the
species. The hypotheses underlying this study are
that (1) M.andongensis and M.kummel organs are
exploited in Benin for multiple purposes; (2) local
knowledge on and uses of both species vary accord-
ing to sex, age, and ethnic groups; (3) both species
organs can have similar uses while exploited by
different ethnic groups; and (4) local people are
aware of the threats faced by the species in forest.
We conducted a survey in Benin, in
Zalimey and Koto villages for M.andongensis
and in Akpassi, Djagbalo, Banon, Manigri, Wari-
Maro, Igbèrè, Pénéssoulou, Bakou, Idadjo, and
Aklamkpa for M.kummel (Fig. 1). Zalimey and
Koto are in the southern part of the country which
is characterized by a subequatorial climate with a
bimodal rainfall regime, i.e., two rainy seasons al-
ternating with two dry seasons. The mean annual
rainfall is 1200 mm, the mean annual temperature
varies from 25 to 29 °C, and the relative humidity
between 69 and 97%. The villages for M.kummel
are located in the Sudano-Guinean zone character-
ized by a transition towards a unimodal rainfall
regime. Annual rainfall varies between 1100 and
1300 mm and evapotranspiration between 1400
and 1500 mm. The annual temperature range is
25 to 40 °C, and the relative humidity varies
between 31 and 98%. The original vegetation in
the southern part was dense semi-deciduous forests
and Guinean savannas whereas the vegetation in the
Sudano-Guinean zone is characterized by a mosaic
of woodlands, dry dense forests, tree and shrub
savannas, and gallery forests (Adomou 2005).
Zalimey and Koto are inhabited mainly by Holli
and Fon ethnic groups, and the villages for M.
kummel are mostly of Nagot, Mahi, and Anii. Gen-
erally, the survey communities are characterized by
low levels of formal education and are highly reliant
on land-based livelihood strategies such as farming
and NTFP collection.
Before collecting data, we obtained permission
healers who informed people about our work and
to welcome and help us. Pictures of leaves, trunk,
and fruits of both species (Fig. 2)werealsoshownto
them and to some people in the villages to get local
names of the species. M. andongensis is well-known
(even the scientific name) by some young people
who used to work as forest guides or helpers during
various research activities in Lama forest reserve.
M. kummel organs were sometimes confused with
those of Vitellaria paradoxa C. F. Gaertn. or some-
times those of Manilkara sp. Forest managers were
also contacted and pictures of leaves, trunk, and
fruits were shown to them. This was to get local
names of the species and permission to enter the
forests to identify species locations. However, sev-
eral of current forest managers did not know the
species and they put us in contact with local people
who used to work in the forest and knew the
different species. To avoid any confusion, we ac-
companied these local people into the forest to help
differentiate M. kummel from both V. paradoxa and
Manilkara sp.
We conducted a structured household survey
using questionnaires spanning 3 months. Fifty
households were randomly selected in each sampled
village, giving a total of 100 households for
M. andongensis and 500 for M. kummel.Interviews
were with heads of households. Information gath-
ered included (i) socio-economic characteristics of
households (Table 1), (ii) species knowledge and the
exploited plant parts and their uses (both past and
current, when applicable), and (iii) the habitat of
occurrence and change in species abundance.
Fig. 1. Location of the study area and sampled villages.
The different uses were grouped into categories.
We determined the overall use importance of both
species using the use value (Phillips and Gentry
UV ¼
UVi is the sum of all uses reported by the infor-
mant iand Nthe total number of informants.
Use value was also determined for each category
of use and comparison was made between studied
species, using a non-parametric Mann-Whitney U
test. For comparison reasons, only past uses (had
been used at least 5 years ago) were considered
because the forest where we were able to carry out
the survey for M. andongensis has been fully
protected since 1988 and the species is no longer
exploited. Additionally, use values were calculated
and compared between sex, age, and ethnic groups
for each species by means of Mann-Whitney U
(between sex groups) and Kruskal-Wallis (between
age/ethnic groups) tests. Simple correspondence
analysis was performed on the frequencies of cita-
tion of the use categories to describe how the uses of
both species are related to sex, age, and ethnic
groups of users. The first two dimensions explained
more than 80% of total variance of the data and
therefore we used them to display the relation.
About 68% of the interviewees knew M.
andongensis, locally known as afoutin (Fon) and
égui-oché (Holli). Of these, 69% made use of the
species. Seventeen uses were recorded grouped into
five use categories, namely medicinal, construction,
energy, food, and social uses (Table 2). The species
were mainly used as medicine to treat malaria,
mouth infections, and scabies and to strengthen
newborns. Other important uses of M.andongensis
included the construction of houses and attics with
the wood, exploitation of young stems/branches
and wood as firewood, consumption of fruits to
relieve hunger, and the use of young stems/
branches as a toothbrush (Table 2). The most wide-
ly used parts of the species were the wood, young
stems/branches, and bark (Fig. 3). The Holli were
aware of all the uses whereas the Fon reported only
two uses. Fifty-nine percent of the informants pre-
ferred to use M.andongensis mainly because of its
effectiveness in the treatment of ailments and be-
cause the wood is hard, resistant to termites, and
does not deteriorate quickly like other species. An-
other reason was that the wood maintained roofs
even during heavy rains and tornados. Although M.
andongensis is no longer exploited in the Lama forest
reserve, the species is still used mainly as medicine
elsewhere where it occurs (Fig. 4b, d, and e) but
where we were not able to carry out the survey due
to political reasons.
Fig. 2. Mimusops andongensis (left)andMimusops kummel (right)trunk(a), fruits (b), and leaves (c).
Most (79%) interviewees knew M.kummel,
locally named èmèdo (Nagot), tohoukoho (Mahi),
and alan (Yom). The species was used by 31% of
those of knew it. A total of 69 uses were reported
and grouped into eight use categories, namely me-
dicinal, construction, furniture, tool, energy, food,
commercial, and social uses (Table 3). M.kummel
was mostly used to treat (currently by traditional
healers) malaria, stomachache, intestinal worms,
chickenpox, and mouth infections and to strength-
en newborns. The species was mainly used in con-
struction of houses and classrooms to make roofs
and doors. It was also exploited for the manufacture
of household furniture (mainly beds, chairs, and
tables) and tools (mainly mortars, pestles, and arrow
shafts). Wood and young stems/branches served
also for domestic energy mainly as firewood and
fruits to relieve hunger and as a trap for animals in
the forest. Young stems/branches were socially ap-
preciated for toothbrushes while the wood was sold
as timber (Table 3). M.kummel wood, young
stems/branches, and bark were the most widely used
part. The Nagot were aware of 97% of the recorded
uses while the other ethnic groups reported 22% or
less. Thirty-seven percent of the informants pre-
ferred to use the species mainly because (i) of the
effectiveness in the treatment of ailments and (ii)
the wood is hard and resistant (maintained roofs
even during heavy rains and tornados). Five percent
of the informants preferred to exploit the young
stems/branches as toothbrush because they are ten-
der and effective. Figure 4(a,c)presentssomeuses
of M.kummel.
Although the two species were used by different
ethnic groups in different zones of the country, there
were similarities in some uses of their leaves (against
malaria, headache), bark (against malaria, stomach-
ache, skin infections, for newborns growth), young
stems/branches (mouth infections, toothbrush, fire),
wood (construction), and fruits (relieve hunger).
There were significant differences between the
two species regarding the overall and the medicinal
use values as well as the energy and theconstruction
use values (p< 0.05). The highest overall use value
was obtained for M.kummel which also had the
highest medicinal value but the lowest construction
and energy use values (Table 4).
Although there were no significant gender, age,
and ethnic group-based differences in the use value
per category for M.andongensis (p> 0.05), our
results showed that only Holli informants men-
tioned the medicinal, energy, and social use of the
species and only men revealed its use in construc-
tion (Table 5).
Characteristics M.andongensis M.kummel
Sex Male 97 458
Female 3 42
Age groups (years) 30 28 57
3160 53 345
60 19 98
Educational levels None 66 278
Primary 22 162
Secondary/more 12 60
Mean size of households (SD) 9.3 (5.0) 8.3 (4.5)
Main activities Farmer 89 341
Traditional healer 0 15
Sawyer 2 35
Others 9 109
Ethnic groups Holli 70
Fon 30
Nagot 44
Mahi 68
Anii 362
Adja 8
Bariba 5
Yom 13
Plant part Use category Purpose of use Processing method Form of use Respondents (%) Ethnic groups
Leaves Medicinal Malaria Boil in water with leaves of
lemongrass and skin of pineapple
Drink the liquid 6.3 Holli
Headache Boil in water with leaves of
Citrus sp. and Ocimum gratissimum L.
Drink the liquid 4.2 Holli
Fruits Food Satisfy hunger Clean the fruits Eat raw fruits 10.6 Holli, Fon
Bark Medicinal Malaria Boil in water Drink the liquid 6.4 Holli
Child growth Boil in water or soak
in cold water
Wash the child 8.5 Holli
Stomachache Boil in water Drink the liquid 2.1 Holli
Scabies Soak in hot water with
bark of A. digitata
Drink the liquid 4.3 Holli
Roots Social Curse Associated elements forgotten 2.1 Holli
Protection against sorcerers Associated elements forgotten 2.1 Holli
Young stems Medicinal Mouth infections Use as a toothbrush Keep the saliva for few minutes 17.0 Holli
Sexual weakness Use as a toothbrush Swallow the saliva 4.3 Holli
Energy Firewood NA NA 12.8 Holli
Social Toothbrush NA NA 21.3 Holli
Wood Construction Houses NA NA 78.7 Fon, Holli
Attics NA NA 31.9 Holli
Energy Charcoal NA NA 2.1 Holli
Firewood NA NA 4.3 Holli
We found some significant differences in the use
value of M.kummel according to sex, age, and ethnic affiliation of the informants (p< 0.05;
Table 6). The highest mean social use value was
Fig. 3. Exploited organs of Mimusops andongensis and Mimusops kummel.
Fig. 4. Arrowsshafts(a)debarking damage on Mimusops andongensis (b)andMimusops kummel (c) and young
stems regrowing after exploitation (d,e).
Plant part Use category Purpose of use Processing method Form of use
(%) Ethnic groups
Leaves Medicinal Malaria Boil in water or soak in hot water with
leaves of Mangifera indica L., Carica
papaya L., and lemongrass
Drink the liquid 7.0 Nagot, Anii
Strengthen newborns Boil in water or soak in hot water Drink the liquid and wash 2.5 Nagot, Anii
Stomachache Soak in hot or cold water (roots or bark of
the species)
Drink the liquid 3.3 Nagot
Chickenpox Boil in water or soak in cold water Drink the liquid or wash 1.2 Nagot
Headache Boil in water or soak in hot water Drink the liquid 1.2 Nagot
Body/muscular pains Soak in hot or cold water with roots of
the species and guinea pepper
Drink the liquid 1.2 Nagot
Social Bad spirits Cook as sauce with seasoning Eat 0.4 Nagot
Fruits Medicinal Dizziness Crushwithguinea pepper Eat 0.4 Nagot
Food Relieve hunger Wash raw fruits Eat 2.9 Mahi, Nagot
Bark Medicinal Stomachache Boil in water or soak in hot water or
crushwithbarkofKigelia africana
(Lam.) Benth. and red potash
Drink the liquid 4.1 Yom, Nagot
High blood pressure Soak in hot water or crush with salt Drink the liquid 1.2 Yom, Nagot
Strengthen newborns Soak in cold water (or in hot water) Wash (put the liquid in porridge) 2.5 Nagot, Anii
Malaria Boil in water or soak in hot water Wash 2.1 Nagot
Headache Soak in hot water Drink 1.2 Nagot
Dysentery Soak in hot water with potash or make
sauce with the powder with seasoning
Drink the liquid or the sauce 1.2 Nagot
Intestinalworms Soakinhotwaterwithleavesorrootsofthe
Drink the liquid 2.1 Nagot
Chickenpox Soak in hot water with bark of
Anacardium occidentalis L. and
Khaya senegalensis (Desr.) A. Juss.
Drink the liquid 2.1 Nagot
Facilitate teeth Boil in water Drink the liquid 1.2 Nagot
Prevent miscarriage Soak in hot water or crush Drink the liquid/product 1.2 Nagot, Anii
Social Madness Make sauce with the powder and small
green pepper
Drink the sauce 0.4 Nagot
Roots Medicinal Stomachache Soak in hot or cold water with the leaves
of the species
Drink the liquid 2.9 Nagot
Plant part Use category Purpose of use Processing method Form of use
(%) Ethnic groups
Microbial infections Soak in hot water Drink the liquid 1.2 Nagot
Fatigue Boil in water with leaves of the species Drink the liquid 1.6 Nagot
Strengthen newborns Boil in water or soak in hot water Drink the liquid (or put in
porridge) or wash
2.5 Nagot, Anii
Malaria Soak in hot water with leaves of the species Drink the liquid and wash 1.6 Bariba, Nagot
Constipation Soak in hot water and broil Drink the liquid 1.2 Nagot, Yom
Muscular pains Soak in hot water or crush with leaves
of the species and guinea pepper
Drink the liquid or put in
1.2 Nagot
Intestinal worms Soak in hot water with leaves of the species Drink the liquid 1.2 Nagot
Social Bad spirits Broil with guinea pepper and head of viper Put in porridge 0.4 Anii
Incurable illnesses Boil in water or mix the powder with
butter of V. paradoxa
Wash or lap up 0.8 Nagot
Medicinal Mouth infections, wounds,
and sores
Use as a toothbrush Keep the saliva for few minutes 3.7 Nagot
Tool Arrow shafts NA For hunting 10.7 Nagot
Energy Firewood NA NA 1.2 Nagot
Social Toothbrush NA NA 7.4 Nagot, Anii, Adja
Wood Construction Houses, classroom
roofs, and doors
NA NA 29.1 Anii, Nagot,
Mahi, Bariba
Bridges NA NA 1.2 Nagot
Furniture Beds, chairs, furniture,
wardrobe, tables,
18.4 Nagot,Bariba,
Tool Mortars, pestles NA NA 20.1 Mahi, Nagot
Hoe handles NA NA 2.1 Nagot
Energy Firewood, charcoal NA NA 1.2 Nagot
Commercial Sold as timber NA NA 11.5 Nagot, Mahi, Anii
found for women, while only men reported that the
species was used for energy, as food, and for com-
mercial use. However, men were aware of more
social uses (as a toothbrush, to treat madness, and
to protect against bad spirits and sorcerers) of the
species than women, who only knew its use as a
toothbrush. The highest overall, construction, and
tool use values were found for old people and the
lowest values for young people meaning that old
people reported more uses of these use categories
than young people did. Our results also revealed
significant variations in the medicinal, tool, and
social uses of M.kummel among ethnic groups
(Table 6).
Results from the correspondence analysis
showed, for M.andongensis, that most of the men,
adults, old, and Holli reported the medicinal and
construction uses whereas food and social uses were
less cited by the younger respondents. For women
and Fon, no use was reported by more respondents
than the others (Fig. 5). For M.kummel,mostof
adults, old, men, and Nagot reported the medicinal,
construction, furniture, tool, and social uses while
respondents from the other groups did not mention
any use more than others (Fig. 5).
M.andongensis is found in the Lama forest re-
serve and according to local populations, it can be
found throughout the forest but mostly in the dense
parts. M.kummel prefers to be near water and
specifically along watercourses (93% of the infor-
mants). It could also be found in the humid and
dense parts of forests.
Figure 6summarizes the perception of infor-
mants on change in abundance and factors respon-
sible of the decrease in abundance of Mimusops
species. Sixty and thirty-one percent of the
respondents for M.andongensis and M.kummel,
respectively, reported that the population abun-
dance of the species had decreased. The factors
responsible for this decrease were attributed to the
conversion of forest for agricultural lands, the ex-
ploitation of the species for local consumptive
use, limited regeneration, and bushfires. In
contrast, some informants (24 and 10% for
M.andongensis and M.kummel, respectively) stated
the population abundance had increased. The rea-
sons reported for this supposed increase were (i)
Use category
Use value Mann-Whitney
M.andongensis M.kummel U p
Medicinal 0.47 ± 0.8 0.88 ± 1.1 5699 0.008
Construction 0.98 ± 0.6 0.36 ± 0.5 9728 <0.001
Furniture NA 0.32 ± 0.7 NA NA
Tool NA 0.54 ± 0.8 NA NA
Energy 0.26 ± 0.7 0.02 ± 0.1 7529 <0.001
Food and trap 0.11 ± 0.3 0.12 ± 0.4 7022 0.500
Commercial NA 0.12 ± 0.3 NA NA
Social 0.23 ± 0.4 0.18 ± 0.4 7266 0.240
Overall 2.04 ± 1.2 2.53 ± 1.6 5826 0.020
Use category
Sex Age groups Ethnic groups
FMpYoung Adults Old pFon Holli p
Medicinal 1.50 ± 2.1 0.42 ± 0.7 0.3 0.64 ± 1.0 0.39 ± 0.8 0.36 ± 0.8 0.7 0.00 ± 0.0 0.55 ± 0.9 NA
Construction 0.00 ± 0.0 1.02 ± 0.6 NA 0.82 ± 0.6 1.13 ± 0.6 1.00 ± 0.6 0.4 0.86 ± 0.4 1.00 ± 0.7 0.6
Energy 0.00 ± 0.0 0.30 ± 0.7 NA 0.00 ± 0.0 0.35 ± 0.8 0.18 ± 0.6 0.3 0.00 ± 0.0 0.30 ± 0.6 NA
Food 0.50 ± 0.7 0.09 ± 0.3 0.08 0.18 ± 0.4 0.09 ± 0.3 0.09 ± 0.3 0.7 0.14 ± 0.4 0.10 ± 0.3 0.8
Social 0.50 ± 0.7 0.22 ± 0.4 0.4 0.36 ± 0.5 0.13 ± 0.3 0.27 ± 0.5 0.3 0.00 ± 0.0 0.28 ± 0.4 NA
Overall 2.50 ± 2.1 2.02 ± 1.2 0.7 2.00 ± 1.2 2.1 ± 1.2 1.9 ± 1.1 0.9 1.00 ± 0.0 2.23 ± 1.2 NA
prohibition of access to Lama forest reserve, in the
case of M.andongensis, and (ii) no impact of fire on
plants in humid parts of the forest and species no
longer exploited like others (or it is sometimes cut
only under order), in the case of M.kummel.For
other respondents (20%), the population abun-
dance of M.kummel is stable because it is not only
exploited like other species but also does not regen-
erate as readily as other species.
This study investigated local knowledge of the
use of M.andongensis and M.kummel. Our results
showed that nearly all organs of both species were
exploited, from leaves to the roots. This corroborat-
ed similar results on the importance and uses of M.
andongensis and M.kummel as NTFP species else-
where (e.g., Lemmens 2005; Chekole et al. 2015 in
Ethiopia). Leaves, bark, and roots of the species
were used not only to treat different ailments but
also as magic. Leaves of both species were
used against malaria and headaches; bark in
the treatment of malaria, stomachache, skin
infections, and for the growth of newborns;
and roots to protect against bad spirits or
sorcerers. Previous studies have shown the po-
tential of the bark, leaves, and roots in tradi-
tional medicine. For example, M.andongensis
leaves are used to treat skin infections in Ivory Coast
(Soro et al. 2010); the bark of M.kummel is
exploited in Tanzania for anemia, asthma, and ma-
laria (Ruffo 2002); and its roots are used as a laxative
and galactagogue (Lemmens 2005). Young stems
are used in the study area for oral and dental care,
echoing the findings of Odugbemi (2008)inNige-
ria. Nonetheless, the uses of the species against
miscarriage and to strengthen newborns are new
findings in this study. However, nothing is known
on the bioactive components in the species organs
that confer these medicinal properties.
The wood of both species is exploited for con-
struction of houses and attics and for charcoal pro-
duction, and wood and young stems for cooking
fires (Lemmens 2005; Bekele-Tesemma 2007). Al-
though not frequently, wood of M.kummel was
exploited to make furniture such as beds, chairs,
benches, wardrobes, and tools (mortars, pestles, TV
poles, hoes, and utensils) as well as in the construc-
tion of bridges and classroom roofs. Previous inves-
Use category
Sex Age groups Ethnic groups
FMpYoung Adults Old pAdja Bariba Yom Mahi Nagot Anii p
Medicinal 1.00 ± 1.2 0.88 ± 1.1 0.6 0.54 ± 0.6 0.95 ± 1.2 0.85 ± 1.2 0.5 1.00 ± 1.4 1.00 ± 1.4 3.00 ± 1.6 0.11 ± 0.3 0.86 ± 1.1 1.58 ± 1.2 0.03
Construction 0.08 ± 0.3 0.37 ± 0.7 0.07 0.09 ± 0.3 0.35 ± 0.5 0.46 ± 0.6 0.04 0.00 ± 0.0 0.50 ± 0.7 0.00 ± 0.0 0.67 ± 0.5 0.36 ± 0.6 0.08 ± 0.3 0.1
Furniture 0.08 ± 0.3 0.33 ± 0.8 0.3 0.18 ± 0.7 0.33 ± 0.8 0.33 ± 0.7 0.6 0.00 ± 0.0 0.50 ± 0.7 0.00 ± 0.0 0.00 ± 0.0 0.35 ± 0.8 0.08 ± 0.3 0.5
Tool 0.33 ± 0.6 0.55 ± 0.8 0.4 0.23 ± 0.5 0.50 ± 0.8 0.80 ± 0.9 0.003 0.00 ± 0.0 0.00 ± 0.0 0.00 ± 0.0 1.00 ± 0.7 0.56 ± 0.8 0.00 ± 0.0 0.01
Energy 0.00 ± 0.0 0.20 ± 0.2 NA 0.05 ± 0.2 0.01 ± 0.2 0.02 ± 0.1 0.3 0.00 ± 0.0 0.00 ± 0.0 0.00 ± 0.0 0.00 ± 0.0 0.02 ± 0.2 0.00 ± 0.0 0.99
Food 0.00 ± 0.0 0.13 ± 0.5 NA 0.05 ± 0.2 0.16 ± 0.5 0.08 ± 0.3 0.7 0.00 ± 0.0 0.00 ± 0.0 0.00 ± 0.0 0.11 ± 0.3 0.13 ± 0.5 0.00 ± 0.0 0.9
Commercial 0.00 ± 0.0 0.13 ± 0.3 NA 0.23 ± 0.4 0.12 ± 0.3 0.07 ± 0.2 0.1 0.00 ± 0.0 0.00 ± 0.0 0.00 ± 0.0 0.22 ± 0.4 0.11 ± 0.3 0.25 ± 0.4 0.6
Social 0.50 ± 0.5 0.16 ± 0.4 0.001 0.23 ± 0.4 0.22 ± 0.5 0.07 ± 0.2 0.047 1.00 ± 0.0 0.00 ± 0.0 0.00 ± 0.0 0.11 ± 0.3 0.17 ± 0.4 0.33 ± 0.5 0.02
Overall 2.00 ± 0.9 2.56 ± 1.6 0.3 1.60 ± 0.8 2.63 ± 1.7 2.66 ± 1.5 0.003 3.00 ± 1.4 1.50 ± 0.7 2.00 ± 1.2 4.00 ± 3.5 2.50 ± 1.4 2.25 ± 1.8 0.3
tigations have already mentioned the use of the
wood of M.kummel for tool handles, local utensils,
and as timber for heavy and local construction (e.g.,
Bein et al. 1996 in Eritrea; Bekele-Tesemma 2007
in Ethiopia). Young stems were used to make arrow
shafts. Studies showed that fruits of M.kummel are
used to supplement diets, during food shortage
seasons, and to treat diseases such as high blood
pressure (Teketay et al. 2010), amoeba
(Teklehaymanot and Giday 2010), and asthma
(Chekole et al. 2015). Contrary to those studies,
fruits of M.kummel were used in Benin to relieve
hunger especially by children and during hunting.
Our results revealed fewer uses for M.andongensis
than M.kummel; this might be due to the full
protection status of the forest where M.andongensis
was found and its use by fewer ethnic groups. M.
kummel is locally called Emèdo in the Nagot ethnic
group, which means BV.paradoxa of the river^and
thus it is not surprising that some respondents
confused the pictures as those of V.paradoxa.Sim-
ilarly, the species is called Emido in the Yoruba
ethnic group in Nigeria, which has the same mean-
ing (Odugbemi 2008).
We found gender, age, and ethnic variation in
the knowledge and use of the species. For instance,
women only reported the social use of M.kummel as
a toothbrush, and men were also aware of its use for
magic. Similarly, elderly people knew the use of the
species for the manufacturing of more tools than
young people did. Moreover, the Holli knew more
about the medicinal, fire, and social uses of M.
andongensis than the Fon. The observed variation
between ethnic groups in the use of both species was
mainly linked to their status in the locality (native
vs. immigrant). The gender, age, and ethnic varia-
tion revealed by this study in the use of the species
should be integrated into planning actions for their
valorization and conservation (Fandohan et al.
2010b; Gouwakinnou et al. 2011; Chekole et al.
2015). For instance, the Nagot and old people knew
more about the medicinal uses of M.kummel and
should be involved in planning actions for its me-
dicinal valorization.
Local communities reported M.andongensis to be
present largely in the dense parts of Lama semi-
deciduous forest, characterized by periodically
flooded, clayey soils. M.kummel can be found not
only near water, specifically along watercourses, but
also in the humid and dense parts of forests. Similar
habitats have been recognized as preferential for the
species in different countries. Indeed, humid habi-
tats where water is retained in the soil along or
during rainy periods of the year such as dense
humid forests and riparian forests have been shown
as the preferential habitats of both species, with
some variation between countries. For instance, in
the Ivory Coast, both M.andongensis and M.
kummel have been found in gallery forests and along
watercourses (Ake-Assi 2001) while in Nigeria they
have been found in lowland rain forests. M.
andongensis is present in humid forest, riparian for-
est, and mangrove borders in Guinea-Bissau
(Catarino et al. 2008)andM.kummel on riverbanks
in Eritrea (Bein et al. 1996). However, the species
can also be found in other habitat types such as
woodland forest and savanna, forest-savanna transi-
tion zones, and fallows in the last stages of succes-
sion. This might be a result of disturbances of
original forests (Adeola 1987).
Some respondents recognized that populations of
both species have declined in forests, which they
attributed to farm establishment, and exploitation
for both timber and NTFPs. Forest clearing and
species exploitation for timber and NTFPs are well-
known to be common pressures on many forest
species (WWF 2015; Sinasson et al. 2016). The
impacts of these threats are reinforced by difficulty
in regeneration, bushfires, and other pressures on
forests which might prevent many forest species
from recolonizing natural habitats after disturbances
(e.g., Sinasson et al. 2016). Our results confirm how
important local knowledge is in designing research
or considering actions for useful species
Although there were differences in the number of
ailments treated, our results showed the medicinal
use of these two species to be an important and
widespread. In many countries around the world,
traditional medicine is and continues to be the basis
of healthcare delivery, especially in rural areas
(WHO 2013). Although widely recognized, the
importance of traditional medicine is
underestimated and its integration into national
health services underdeveloped. Therefore, research
and political actions related to health delivery
should promote the identification and valorization
of indigenous medicinal plants, their management
and sustainable use. Both M.andongensis and M.
kummel plant parts are used against malaria, head-
ache, stomachache, and skin and mouth infections
and for the growth of newborns. Furthermore, as
previously shown in Ethiopia (Teketay et al. 2010),
this study found that M. kummel was used to treat
high blood pressure which along with malaria and
other infections are increasing chronic disease across
the world (WHO 2015).
In the study area, M.kummel fruits were con-
sumed by children and by hunters when hungry.
They were not exploited for economic purposes,
unlike in other countries (e.g., Ethiopia) (Teketay
et al. 2010). Fruits of M. andongensis are also con-
sumed by children. Sufficient consumption of fruits
can facilitate digestion and be helpful in the absorp-
tion and use of food nutrients because of their high
concentrations of minerals and vitamins (Banwat
et al. 2012) and hence prevent many diseases
(Kehlenbeck et al. 2013). Many underutilized in-
digenous fruit species are richer in vitamin C and
pro-vitamin A than the most widely valorized and
commercialized species (IPGRI 2002). Moreover,
M.kummel fruits have been shown to be an excel-
lent source of vitamin C and contain good levels of
carbohydrate, fat, and proteins (Fentahun 2008)
and this could be the case for M. andongensis.The
fruits could be further valorized, as currently only a
small proportion of fruit is consumed, the remain-
der being left to rot and the seeds destroyed by
insects and other parasites. Several studies have
indicated that the sustainable offtake of similarly
large-fruited species is high, over 80% (e.g., Bernal
1998; Emanuel et al. 2005). This could in principle
help to improve both diets and revenues of local
people (Kalaba et al. 2009; Jamnadass et al. 2011).
Currently, the two species are neglected by gov-
ernments and development agencies (like many
other useful indigenous species) and as a
Fig. 5. Correspondence analysis results for Mimusops andongensis and Mimusops kummel.
consequence, indigenous knowledge and practices
related to their uses could be in the process of
ethnobotanical erosion (Wondimu et al. 2006).
Both species also face or have been confronted by
threats from forest conversion, habitat fragmenta-
tion, and exploitation for both timber and NTFPs
(Tebkew et al. 2014), as reported by the informants.
The valorization of the species could incite, under
the right circumstances, effective actions for their
sustainable use, marketing, and conservation, which
are potentially mutually reinforcing strategies
(Gouwakinnou et al. 2011). However, prohibitions
of access to forests by forest-dependent peoples by
local politics might hamper the sustainable harvest-
ing of NTFPs and their continued contribution to
local livelihoods (Ruwanza and Shackleton 2015).
Our results revealed a wide range of uses of M.
andongensis and M.kummel among which the most
important is their use as medicine. Further research
on their bioactive components is needed to eluci-
date their medicinal properties. However, neither of
species has widely recognized use/economic value.
Although potential commercial uses exist, in Benin
the species remain underutilized in comparison to
other countries. For example, fruits of M.kummel
are prepared and sold in open markets in different
regions of Ethiopia (Wondimu et al. 2006). Its
inner bark is used for tea in Kenya and the ripe
fruits are sundried and pounded and the powder
used to make juice or local beverage in Tanzania
(Ruffo 2002). Furthermore, raw fruits of M.
kummel have local and national market prospects
and prospects for agro-industrialization as jams and
jellies (Teketay et al. 2010). This could also be
applied for M.andongensis.
As revealed by the surveys and mentioned in the
literature, forest conversion to non-forest lands as
well as timber and NTFP exploitation are potentially
significant contributors to the perceived decline in
their abundance. Loss of such multipurpose use
species may well result in the loss of traditional
ecological knowledge. Some strategies to promote
the species valorization and conservation should in-
clude (i) sharing knowledge and practices on the uses
of the species with other countries where the species
(or species from the same genus) are better valued
(e.g., Ethiopia, India, Tanzania, South Africa), (ii)
valorization of the fruits and creating added value,
(iii) collaboration with local people for knowledge
sharing on the species and conservation actions, and
(iv) promotion of local and perhaps national markets
if population densities are sufficient.Sex,age,and
ethnic variation in the species uses should also be
Fig. 6. Change in abundance and factors responsible of the decrease in abundance of Mimusops species according to
local people.
considered while planning actions for their manage-
ment. Further research on the species ecology, espe-
cially seed viability, germination, and propagation
ability would help to valorize them and sustain their
uses by local people and their conservation.
This work was financially supported by Interna-
tional Foundation for Science grant D/5467-1 to
KGSS for data collection and data analysis, and
OWSD (Organization for Women in Science for
the Developing World) and SIDA (Swedish Inter-
national Development Cooperation Agency)
through a Postgraduate Fellowship to KGSS for
literature review and manuscript writing. We are
also grateful to Christian Affoukou, Hervé
Kanlissou, Cyrus Binassoua, and local communities
for their help during surveys.
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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. ...
... It is used in construction, in with a diameter of about 32 cm at man's height. The dugout canoes, axe handles and carving, charcoal prohibitions on the species have not allowed more trees production and as fuel wood [11,16,17]. The bark, roots, to be harvested. ...
... [1,20] and is one of the potential commercial species in For the mechanical measurements, the method of the Central Nucleus of the Lama Forest under ONAB mechanical characterization used is the non-destructive management [21]. Sinasson et al. [11] determined the one based on the BING device (Beam Identification By uses, local knowledge and abundance mutations of Non-Destructive Grading) of CIRAD-Forêt whose Mimusops species in Benin. Sinasson et al. [13] also principle was the subject of work of Brancheriau [23]. ...
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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.
... Mimusops andongensis Hiern and Mimusops kummel Bruce ex A. DC are two NTFP tree species naturally occurring in many African countries, including Benin, where they occur mainly in semi-deciduous and riparian forests, respectively. Both species are used for energy, construction and manufacturing, as well as for alimentary and medicinal purposes [13][14][15][16][17]. Additionally, M. kummel has been identified as one of the important sources of pollen for honey production in different African countries, although among the least abundant species [18,19]. ...
... Mirroring many countries worldwide, forest resources in Benin face various pressures, including overharvesting, deforestation for cultivation, uncontrolled bushfires, invasive species, etc. [21]. M. andongensis and M. kummel are subject to such pressures [15] and therefore understanding variation in their population structure and morphology in the context of anthropogenic and ecological stresses will inform conservation options. ...
... Our results show that the population in the most protected forest in the country is more stable than populations in the other forests, with no missing diameter classes. This suggests the full protection of Lama Forest reserve to be beneficial for the preservation of M. andongensis populations, although the long-term benefits of protection might be mitigated by competition with invasive species, especially on regenerative stems [15,50]. The advantages of protecting forests for species conservation are well known [51] and this management strategy has been applied for different vegetation types, with other forms of harvesting regulations [52]. ...
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Understanding tree species autecology and population structure supports effective conservation actions. Of particular importance are multipurpose trees that provide non-timber forest products (NTFPs). We assessed the population structures and morphologies of two species of NTFP trees in the genus Mimusops across bioclimatic zones in Benin by sampling 288 plots within 11 forests. Structural characteristics were compared between species, forests and zones. Correlations were also observed between Mimusops tree regeneration density, tree features and ecological characteristics. The density of trees ≥5 cm and of regeneration and mean tree height were higher for M. andongensis (within more protected forest) than M. kummel (in forests with access to people), while the highest mean diameter was observed for M. kummel. Tree and regeneration densities and mean height were greatest in the humid zone of Benin, whilst the largest mean diameter was obtained in the sub-humid zone. The results showed significant correlations between regeneration density and soil properties for M. andongensis but not for M. kummel. The correlations between tree morphology and soil characteristics were weak for both species. Ecological characteristics, along with the species’ functional traits and pressures, are important factors related to the observed differences between the species. All diameter classes were represented, and the population seemed more stable in the more protected forest relative to other forests. Mimusops trees with a diameter of 5–15 cm represented more than 30% of this species in most forests; this suggests, for M. kummel, whose trees flower when quite small (≥6 cm dbh), that there are sufficient reproductive trees. Thus, as a long-lived species, its populations could be maintained even with low/episodic recruitment. However, we found no regeneration in many forests and climate change could threaten populations. Therefore, it is important to investigate regeneration growth and dynamics, seed production and germination of the species in relation to the biophysical conditions and disturbances experienced by Mimusops stands.
... In this study, we compared the phenological patterns of Mimusops andongensis Hiern and Mimusops kummel Bruce ex A. DC in Benin and investigated how climate, plant size and canopy position influence these. Mimusops species are important multipurpose trees mainly exploited for their fruits, bark and leaves (Sinasson S, Shackleton, Assogbadjo, & Sinsin, 2017). For instance, in Cote d'Ivoire, the bark of M. andongensis is exploited as medicine to treat skin and stomach infections (Soro, Kone, & Kamanzi, 2010). ...
... For instance, in Cote d'Ivoire, the bark of M. andongensis is exploited as medicine to treat skin and stomach infections (Soro, Kone, & Kamanzi, 2010). In Benin, the bark and leaves are used to treat different diseases, and the fruits are consumed, especially by children and hunters, though not commercialized (Sinasson S, Shackleton, Assogbadjo, et al., 2017). In Ethiopia, the fruits of M. kummel are commercialized raw or prepared (Wondimu, Asfaw, & Kelbessa, 2006) and according to Teketay, Senbeta, Maclachlan, Bekele, and Barklund (2010), the species has prospects for agro-industrialization as jams and jellies. ...
... This could also be the case for M. andongensis. In Benin, the two species have similar uses although they occur in different areas and are exploited by different ethnic groups (Sinasson S, Shackleton, Assogbadjo, et al., 2017). Mimusops andongensis and M. kummel trees bear leaves all year round, and thus, this study did not include leaf phenology. ...
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Assessing species phenology provides useful understanding about their autecology, to contribute to management strategies. We monitored reproductive phenology of Mimusops andongensis and Mimusops kummel, and its relationship with climate, tree diameter and canopy position. We sampled trees in six diameter classes and noted their canopy position. For both species flowering began in the dry season through to the rainy season, but peaked in the dry season, whilst fruiting occurred in the rainy season and peaked during the most humid period. Flowering was positively correlated with temperature. Conversely, fruiting was negatively correlated with temperature and positively with rainfall, only in the Guineo-Sudanian zone. For M. andongensis, flowering and fruiting prevalences were positively linked to stem diameter, while only flowering was significantly related to canopy position. For M. kummel, the relationship with stem diameter was significant for flowering prevalence only and in the Guineo-Sudanian zone. Results suggest that phylogenetic membership is an important factor restricting Mimusops species phenology. Flowering and fruiting of both species are influenced by climate, and consequently climate change might shift their phenological patterns. Long-term investigations, considering flowering and fruiting abortion, will help to better understand the species phenology and perhaps predict demographic dynamics.
... L'analyse des données a été conduite en recourant à cinq facteurs sociaux considérés dans la présente étude (tableau I) : le groupe socioculturel, l'âge, la catégorie socioprofessionnelle, le niveau d'instruction et la taille du ménage (Souto et Ticktin, 2012 ;Assogba et al., 2017 ;Etongo et al., 2017 ;Sinasson et al., 2017). En se raccordant aux études Tableau I. Répartition des personnes enquêtées suivant les facteurs sociaux. ...
... Les différences statistiques significatives des valeurs d'usage entre les groupes socioculturels montrent que l'importance culturelle des espèces varie suivant ces groupes socioculturels, et suggèrent une diversité importante et une spécification des usages au sein des populations locales. Ces spécificités pourraient résulter des perceptions séculaires, des modes de vie et des activités professionnelles des groupes socioculturels (Houéhanou et al., 2011 ;Sinasson et al., 2017). En effet, les Mahi préfèrent I. doka pour le bois d'oeuvre comparativement aux autres groupes socioculturels alors que les Kotocoli utilisent plus la même espèce pour des besoins de charpente. ...
Isoberlinia doka Craib & Stapf and Isoberlinia tomentosa (Harms) Craib & Stapf are both native African tree species. Although considered of little value in the past, they are now proving useful to local populations. In Central Benin, traditional knowledge on the genus Isoberlinia is widely applied in local development strategies, but little documented. This study aimed to assess (i) endogenous knowledge on uses of the two species and (ii) the effects of five sociocultural factors, and their interactions, on the use value of the two species in Central Benin. Ethnobotanical surveys were conducted with 480 respondents divided into eight sociocultural groups. Relative frequency of citation (RFC) and use value (UV) were calculated and analysed into their principal components (PCA), and generalised linear models (GLM) were produced based on Poisson distributions. The Mahi and Nago people make more use of I. doka as roof timbers; the Dendi and Holli make more use of I. tomentosa for building. Simple single-factor models show that among the factors tested, the sociocultural group determines variations in the use of the two species, while professional activities also influence the use of I. tomentosa. Our assessment of the simultaneous effects of the five social factors and their interactions in a single multiple model shows that the differences in use value of I. tomentosa among the sociocultural groups can be amplified by professional activities. Furthermore, for I. doka, the model including sociocultural groups only shows the fewest uses. In developing policies to manage the two species sustainably, sociocultural factors must therefore be a primary consideration, followed by professional categories and, for I. tomentosa and to a lesser extent, household size.
... An important wild food source (particularly in the Afar region, Ethiopia), potential fodder species, and provide timber used for making household furniture [60] 9. Mimusops kummel A multipurpose species with testy marketable fruit, and provides other multiple uses including medicinal value, timber, firewood, and charcoal [61] 10. ...
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Wild edible fruit species are commonly consumed and utilized in different parts of Ethiopia for staple food, filling seasonal food shortages, emergency food during a famine, and household income generation. There is a pressing need for domestication and improvement of some wild edible fruits for increased production, diversifying income for small-scale farmers, and conservation of the diminishing wild edible fruit resources. A total of 37 widely utilized and marketed wild edible fruit species falling into 23 families were recognized as of used in different parts of the country. Of which, 26 species are identified as available in local markets in different parts of the country. Ziziphus spina-christi, Syzygium guineense, Balanites aegyptiaca, and other nine species were identified as a priority wild edible fruit species from available information based on utilization extent, preference ranking by farmers, product marketability, and conservation needs for the species. There exists a lack of scientifically planned genetic variation evaluation, superior variety selection, genetic improvement, and seedling production initiatives for indigenous wild edible fruit species in Ethiopia. All of the 37 widely utilized and marketed wild fruit species have not developed to their full potential in terms of quality, production scale, and market in the country. Identifying and selecting priority species, strengthening botanical information, germplasm collection and improvement, production and processing technologies, increasing the supply of improved planting materials, and promoting on-farm cultivation of wild edible fruit-based agroforestry systems were identified as key future strategies for domestication and wider cultivation of wild edible fruit species.
... tree species naturally occurring in several African countries, including Benin, where the two species occur mainly in semi-deciduous and riparian forests, respectively. Both species are exploited by local people for multiple purposes, including energy, construction, food, alimentary uses and medicines (Lemmens et al., 2010;Soro et al., 2010;Teketay et al., 2010;Sinasson et al., 2017b). Their fruits are also consumed by birds and other animals such as monkeys (e.g., Nombimè and Sinsin, 2003;Kagoro-Rugunda and Hashimoto, 2015). ...
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Understanding the niche and habitat requirements of useful and threatened species, their shifts under climate change and how well protected areas (PAs) preserve these habitats is relevant for guiding sustainable management actions. Here we assessed the ecological factors underlying the distribution of two multipurpose and threatened species, Mimusops andongensis and M. kummel, in Benin, and potential changes in the suitable habitats covered by PAs, under climate change scenarios. Fifty seven occurrence points were collected for M. andongensis and 81 for M. kummel. Associations with 19 bioclimatic (from WorldClim database) and six soil variables (from World Soil Information website) were analysed using Principal Components Analysis, niche modelling and gap analysis. M. andongensis occurrence is associated with high soil clay, silt, organic carbon and cation exchange capacity. Contrastingly, M. kummel occurrence is linked to high sand content and prolonged water holding capacity. Climatically, M. andongensis occurrence is positively related to mean annual temperature, while M. kummel occurrence is influenced by the seasonality of precipitation and precipitation of the wettest period. Predictions showed affinity of suitable areas with water lines, suggesting that components of soil texture and chemical properties should be considered during modelling. For M. andongensis suitable areas are confined to the Guineo-Congolian zone, while for M. kummel they are mostly located in the Guineo-Sudanian zone and absent from the driest part of the Sudanian zone. Under climate change, moderately to highly suitable areas (probability of occurrence of species > 20%) covered by PAs will decrease in the case of M. andongensis, but remain stable for M. kummel. In Benin, PAs are under threat from exploitation and uncontrolled bushfires, which may also affect populations of the two species. Consequently, additional actions are required, including the monitoring of species populations and the extent of different pressures, and the regularization of access to PAs. Populations of these species outside PAs should also be given consideration because of their very limited abundance.
... As for the influence of ethnicity, the coexistence of multiple ethnic groups in the area does not seem to prevent knowledge flow. Mimusops species in Benin (Sinasson et al. 2017) showed the contrary, as uses were different among ethnic groups. Here, the fact that seeds are frequently acquired from neighbors in all three sites suggests that future studies should include specific questions on the presence or absence of ethnic barriers in seed circulation (as seen for instance in Labeyrie et al. 2016). ...
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Highly valued for its edible fruits, the safou tree, Dacryodes edulis, is a major component of farming systems in Central Africa. In Cameroon, the species has drawn much attention since the 1990s because of its market potential. Among other fruit tree species, safou trees are integrated within cocoa-coffee agroforests as a means of diversification. In Western Cameroon, farmers’ strategies for safou production and commercialization are influenced by a gradient of the species’ market integration. Based on semi-structured interviews with farmers and inventories of trees on their farms, this ethnoecological study addresses the relationship between the market integration of production areas, farmers’ agricultural practices, and the distribution of local varieties. Interviews revealed that farmers in high-cultivation areas use more diversified planting techniques, but select and use similar planting material. At the local scale, we found a wide range of varieties, defined according to a combination of selected fruit traits. Varieties appearing at multiple sites were also the ones with the most desirable sets of characteristics. The agricultural strategies depicted help us to understand the specificities of the ongoing market integration of indigenous species in the tropics.
Dans les écosystèmes forestiers tropicaux, les humains utilisent depuis toujours les espèces végétales utiles, sources de nourriture, de fibre, de combustible ou de médication. Parmi ces produits forestiers, certains d’entre eux ont progressivement été mis en culture. C’est le cas du safoutier (Dacryodes edulis, Burseraceae), un arbre fruitier emblématique d’Afrique Centrale. Cette thèse aborde différents aspects de la dynamique de la diversité cultivée du safoutier via une approche interdisciplinaire alliant génétique des populations et ethnoécologie. Une première partie porte sur l’histoire évolutive du safoutier ; une seconde s’attache à caractériser les pratiques culturales et de gestion de l’espèce par différents groupes ethniques du Cameroun. Une troisième, faisant converger les approches, vise à comprendre l’influence de ces différentes pratiques sur la diversité génétique de l’espèce.Sur son aire de distribution, la diversité génétique se structure en trois principaux groupes. Le plus étendu spatialement regroupe les populations du Cameroun et du Nord-Gabon et présente aussi une sous-structuration interne. Les deux autres se situent aux marges de son aire, au Nigéria et en République Démocratique du Congo. Une barrière historique est suggérée de part et d’autre de l’équateur météorologique. Ces patrons de distribution de la diversité génétique au sein de l’espèce semblent résulter des événements de glaciation du Quaternaire plutôt que de la mise en culture de l’espèce. Enfin, le partage d’haplotypes entre D. edulis et d’autres Dacryodes laisse penser que les flux de gènes sont possibles entre espèces du genre.Une approche ethnoécologique dans différents bassins de production de safous de l’Ouest Cameroun a permis de montrer qu’une intégration plus forte au marché du safou se traduit par des pratiques de plantation plus diversifiées, et n’a pas d’effet délétère sur la diversité variétale aux champs. À cette diversité morphologique répond une importante nomenclature vernaculaire organisée surtout autour des critères morphologiques et organoleptiques du fruit, et plus étoffée chez les Béti que chez les Bamiléké et Bassa. Les cultivateurs de safous affichent des préférences différentes en fonction des usages du fruit, et une bascule s’opère vers une prédilection pour le critère de taille chez ceux destinant leur production au marché urbain.Le croisement des approches ethnoécologique et génétique a en particulier permis de mettre en valeur les effets des réseaux informels d’échanges de semences sur la diversité génétique et sa distribution. En procédant par comparaison entre sites le long de gradients à groupes ethniques dominants, les différentes dynamiques entre sites urbanisés ruraux sont soulignées. Les semences utilisées pour planter des arbres en ville proviennent en majorité d’échanges sur de longues distances, transitant ou non par des marchés. En conséquence, des niveaux de diversité identiques, voire supérieurs, sont présents dans les aires urbaines par rapport au milieu rural. Par ailleurs, les niveaux de diversité génétique comparés entre cohortes d’âges sont similaires, suggérant que les pratiques actuelles de gestion de l’espèce n’érodent pas son patrimoine génétique : ces pratiques peuvent être considérées comme durables.Ces résultats permettent de conclure qu’il existe une grande diversité de connaissances, de pratiques et d’usages autour du safoutier. De plus, les pratiques de gestion locale n’engendrent pas, à ce stade, d’effets néfastes sur sa diversité intra-spécifique. Néanmoins cette espèce emblématique, modèle stratégique pour étudier l’effet des pratiques humaines sur la diversité génétique en Afrique Centrale, soulève de nombreuses questions de recherche encore à examiner, notamment vis-à-vis de l’origine de sa mise en culture et de sa diffusion.
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Identities and entities can be found in the cultural and ecological environment of a community when its members interact with each other. The Papua nutmeg (Myristica argentea Warb.) has been utilized by the Baham-Matta ethnic in the western part of Papua for centuries as part of their traditional ecological knowledge of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). However, this practice has not been scientifically constructed as part of social forestry science. Therefore, this paper seeks to contribute to an empirical understanding of the forest-culture of the local community and its implications for adaptive forest governance in West Papua. This study found that adaptive resource management has been applied to the Papua nutmeg, which is called henggi in Iha language and endemic to the tropical forest of the western part of Papua. The treatment of Papua nutmeg consists of three stages, namely pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest, all of which form a holistic unity which is sustainable until today. The Papuan nutmeg is traditionally managed and locally conserved using a traditional method known as the sasi system.
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Harvesting of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) can threaten target species, especially those with limited distribution and density. Exploited species also face threats from habitat fragmentation, fire, and invasive species. We assessed the impact of human disturbances and invasive species on the population of a key multipurpose NTFP species, Mimusops andongensis, in Lama Forest reserve (Benin). The densities of adult trees and regenerative stems decreased with increasing degradation. Mimusops andongensis contributed less to total tree density with increasing human disturbance. There were significantly fewer M. andongensis recruits with increasing cover of invasive Chromolaena odorata. Smaller diameter individuals predominated in non-degraded and moderately degraded sites while in degraded sites, the structure showed a negative exponential trend with the density of small diameter individuals being less than two trees/ha. Larger individuals were also rare in degraded sites. The low density of both mature trees and seedlings in degraded sites may undermine the long-term viability of M. andongensis, despite existing protection against NTFP harvesting and other anthropogenic pressures. Management should emphasize facilitating recruitment subsidies and limiting the presence of C. odorata.
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Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) provide material subsistence and cash income to millions of rural people, particularly in less developed countries. This paper offers a systematic review of recent trends (2000-2010) in the ecological and economic sustainability of NTFPs. Of 101 NTFP ecological studies, most addressed harvest consequences at the population-individual level (62.4%), and over half (52.5%) were carried out in Latin America. Nearly two-thirds of research (63.3%) reported that extraction was sustainable or likely to be so, compared to less than one -fifth (17.8%) that found it to be unsustainable. Extractive enterprise in Latin America was most often reported as ecologically sustainable (82.6%), and least often in Asia (58.8%). Because little of the economic NTFP literature identifies whether extractive returns meet the financial needs of extractors, at least on a daily basis, we outline economic sustainability criteria in terms of whether returns surpass an absolute poverty line or alternative wage. Of the 71 articles presenting financial data, over two-thirds met or exceeded the threshold of economic sustainability. Roughly 75% of studies demonstrated that gatherers earned more than USD$2 PPP/day (the international absolute poverty line) or more than a local wage. These positive results do not, however, demonstrate that gathering reduces long-term poverty because forest dependence, and likely tenure security, remains low among these populations. Caution must be exercised in terms of extending these results into the future, as changing economic conditions, rates and sources of habitat modification, and climate change all point to increased extractive pressures on tropical forests and savannas.
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Background: Ethiopia encompasses an extraordinary number of ecological zones and plant diversity. However, the diversity of plants is highly threatened due to lack of institutional capacity, population pressure, land degradation and deforestation. An adequate documentation of these plants also has not been conducted. The farmers in Ethiopia face serious and growing food insecurity caused by drought, land degradation and climate change. Thus, rural communities are dependent on underutilized wild edible plants to meet their food and nutritional needs. Hence, this study was conducted to examine the distribution, diversity, role, management condition and associated traditional knowledge of underutilized wild edible plants with a focus on woody plants in the Chilga District, northwestern Ethiopia. Methods: A questionnaire survey, semi-structured interviews, preference and direct matrix rankings, a market survey and focused group discussion methods were employed for data collection. Data were collected from 96 respondents. A plant inventory was also conducted on 144 quadrates in two agroecologies and in three uses. Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods were used. Statistical Analysis System (SAS) version 9.0 was used for statistical analysis. Analysis of Variance (P <0.05) was used to compare diversity indices and species richness between agroecologies and among kebeles. Results: Thirty-three underutilized wild edible plants were recorded in the study area. Of the recorded plants, 45% were trees. Fruits (76%) were the most frequently used plant parts. More than half of the respondents (56.3% in the midland and 66.7% in the lowland area) consumed underutilized wild edible plants for supplementing staple food. Underutilized wild edible plant citation of the poor was significantly higher (P <0.05) than medium and rich classes. Underutilized wild edible plants in the study area were threatened by agricultural expansion, overharvesting for fuel wood and construction, and by overgrazing. However, these plants have been given minimum conservation attention.
A study aimed at identifying plant species used and manipulated by the community for food was carried out around ‘Dheeraa' town, in Arsi Zone of Oromia National Regional state, Ethiopia. The data were collected through four round fieldworks co nducted from October to December 2003. Random and systematic sampling methods were employed to select the study sites as well as the informants. Ethnobotanical methods using semi-structured interviews were employed to collect data on food plants used by the community. In this study, 71 species of food plants were recorded of which, the local people cultivate 30 species. Wild edible plant species claimed a larger proportion (41 species, 58%) of the total records. Of the edible plants of the study area 16 species used by the community in traditional medicine, are categorized as nutraceuticals. The non-cultivated food plants are very rare in the area and this might be attributed to the ongoing habitat modification and loss of natural vegetation. It is important to create awareness on sustainable use of wild edibles and the cultivated food. On top of the benefits that these food plants offer as part of the local vegetation, their potentials as food sources are worth considering in efforts towards realizing household food self-sufficiency in the study area. SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science Vol. 29(1) 2006: 71–80
Density and Regrowth of a Forest Restio ( Ischyrolepis eleocharis ) under Harvest and Non-harvest Treatments in Dune Forests of Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Ischyrolepis eleocharis (Mast.) H.P.Linder is a perennial rush or sedge-like herb in the Restionaceae family and has been harvested for various uses from coastal forest dunes of South Africa. Around 2005, a ban on I. eleocharis harvesting in Bathurst coastal forest was instituted by provincial conservation authorities based on their unsubstantiated impression that the species population was decreasing. Here we report on the population density pre and post the harvest ban, as well as further explore the autecology of the species by assessing plant density relative to environmental factors (slope and aspect) and a controlled experiment on regrowth after harvesting at different intensities. The results show that the shoot density of both living and dead I. eleocharis increased significantly over the past eight years. This concurs with results from the harvesting experiment which showed that I. eleocharis recovered rapidly within a year of harvesting. Both aspect and slope play a key role in the distribution of I. eleocharis, with most plants found in open patches in the forest located on the summit and upper slopes of dunes facing the landward side. These results indicate that I. eleocharis is highly abundant and resilient to harvesting.