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Knowledge, valuation and prioritization of 46 woody species for conservation in agroforestry systems along Ouémé catchment in Benin (West Africa)

  • Laboratoire de Biomathématiques et d'Estimations Forestières/Université d'Abomey-Calavi
  • Laboratory of Biomathematics and Forest Estimations and Laboratory of Applied Ecology, Faculty of Agronomic Sciences, University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin
  • University of Abomey Calavi Faculty of Agronomic Sciences
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Abstract and Figures

The Ouémé catchment abounds an important diversity of woody plant species. However, harvesting pressure on these species seems to lead to threats of their sustainability. Despite this fact, few published studies concerning their conservation have been undertaken. In this regard, our study focused on (1) assessment of impact of socio-demographic factors and climatic zones on knowledge and use of the woody plant species; (2) assessment of the use status of each of these species and (3) ranking within each climatic zone these species according to their priority for conservation. A total of 411 randomly selected informants were interviewed through a semi-structured survey followed by a field survey in 69 random plots of 0.15 ha. Data from available literature were used to complete the surveys. Ecological and ethnobotanical parameters were computed, and the highest priority species for conservation were identified. The results showed significant difference in plant use between women and men, ethnic groups and climatic zones. However, age was not a determinant of plant knowledge. The findings also revealed that more than 50% of native species in the study area are underutilized or widely used by few people. Moreover, six species were identified as priorities and need high conservation efforts in the two climatic zones, namely: Parkia biglobosa, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Milicia excelsa, Prosopis africana, Afzelia africana and Khaya senegalensis. Non-governmental organizations, governments and agroforestry research institutions are entreated to incorporate these species in local development strategies aiming at sustainable management and long-term conservation of native species.
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Environ Dev Sustain (2019) 21:2377–2399
1 3
Knowledge, valuation andprioritization of46 woody
species forconservation inagroforestry systems
alongOuémé catchment inBenin (West Africa)
BrunoE.Lokonon1,2· EssomandaTchandaoMangamana2· IsidoreGnonlonfoun1,2·
TéwogbadéJeanDidierAkpona1,2· AchilleE.Assogbadjo1,2· RomainGlèlèKakaï2·
Received: 3 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published online: 31 March 2018
© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018
Abstract The Ouémé catchment abounds an important diversity of woody plant species.
However, harvesting pressure on these species seems to lead to threats of their sustainabil-
ity. Despite this fact, few published studies concerning their conservation have been under-
taken. In this regard, our study focused on (1) assessment of impact of socio-demographic
factors and climatic zones on knowledge and use of the woody plant species; (2) assess-
ment of the use status of each of these species and (3) ranking within each climatic zone
these species according to their priority for conservation. A total of 411 randomly selected
informants were interviewed through a semi-structured survey followed by a field survey
in 69 random plots of 0.15ha. Data from available literature were used to complete the
surveys. Ecological and ethnobotanical parameters were computed, and the highest priority
species for conservation were identified. The results showed significant difference in plant
use between women and men, ethnic groups and climatic zones. However, age was not a
determinant of plant knowledge. The findings also revealed that more than 50% of native
species in the study area are underutilized or widely used by few people. Moreover, six
species were identified as priorities and need high conservation efforts in the two climatic
zones, namely: Parkia biglobosa, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Milicia excelsa, Prosopis afri‑
cana, Afzelia africana and Khaya senegalensis. Non-governmental organizations, govern-
ments and agroforestry research institutions are entreated to incorporate these species in
local development strategies aiming at sustainable management and long-term conserva-
tion of native species.
Keywords Woody plant· Local people· Knowledge and use· Conservation priorities·
Ouémé catchment· Benin
* Bruno E. Lokonon
1 Laboratory ofApplied Ecology, Faculty ofAgronomic Sciences, University ofAbomey-Calavi,
05 BP 1752, Cotonou, Benin
2 Laboratory ofBiomathematics andForest Estimations, University ofAbomey-Calavi, 04 BP 1525,
Cotonou, Benin
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... La familia Poaceae se encontró en mayor porcentaje en las UP del estudio en las que se dedican a la actividad ganadera manejada bajo el sistema doble propósito, por lo que cuentan con una gran cantidad de hierbas terrestres o pastos que sirven como alimento para el ganado. Por su parte las Fabáceas también pueden ser usadas como plantas forrajeras, de hecho, el 29 % de las especies estudiadas tienen este uso, sin embargo, la mayoría de las especies en estudio fueron clasificadas como maderables y representaron el 35 %, en concordancia con lo encontrado por Lokonon et al. (2019) quienes afirman que entre los agricultores existe una marcada preferencia por las especies que brindan madera, energía, alimento y medicina. Las plantas ornamentales alcanzaron 25 % teniendo en cuenta que muchas de ellas, tienen más de un uso. ...
... Hacia el centro y norte del departamento se observó presencia de especies en regeneración como Prosopis juliflora, Crescentia cujete, Samanea saman y Chloroleucon mangense, especialmente útiles en los sistemas de producción ganadera ya que producen semillas y hojas que sirven de alimento al ganado, incluso mejoran el perfil nutricional de los forrajes convencionales al aportar proteínas y otros nutrientes esenciales (Shiferaw et al., 2019;Lokonon et al., 2019;Romero-Duque et al., 2007). Hacia el sur del departamento, la mayoría de las UP muestreadas evidencian más cobertura forestal respecto al norte y centro, dos UP han incorporado prácticas del modelo agroforestal. ...
... Se encontró arbustos y árboles en mayor proporción y sobresalen especies como Crescentia cujete, Guazuma ulmifolia, Prosopis juliflora, Chloroleucon mangense, Platymisium pinnatum, Samanea Samán, Manilkara zapota, Hymenaea courbaril, Gliricidia sepium y Cedrela odorata, entre otros. Sin embargo, hay evidencias que permiten deducir que la ampliación de la frontera agropecuaria, erradicó muchas especies nativas y alteró las condiciones de los ecosistemas (Lokonon et al., 2019), prácticas que homogenizan el paisaje. ...
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The primary objective of this research study was to identify plant species with the potential to be incorporated into agroforestry systems. The present study was conducted in 63 productive units located in eight municipalities in the Magdalena state (Colombia). The plant species composition present in the agricultural systems was characterized in field trips supported by local farmers. Plant taxonomic keys were used to identify and create an inventory that included information on growth, habits, and most common uses. One hundred and twenty-two species were identified: 66% were trees, 28% were terrestrial herbs, and 6% were shrubs. Eighty-one percent of the species were used as shade, living fences, forage, medicine, ornaments, and for preservation of water sources, while 35% were timber and 29% were forage. It was concluded that the species selected have desirable traits for agroforestry systems in the dry tropics.
... The vegetation is mainly composed of savannah, forests, and crops (Leroux et al., 2016). The production of food and cash crops is the main source of income for the people in the area (Lokonon et al., 2017). The main food crops in the study area are maize (Zea mays), yam (Dioscorea spp.), and cassava (Manihot esculenta). ...
... Agroforestry, through which farmers conserve useful woody species in their fields, is the dominant form of land-use type within the catchment (Lokonon et al., 2018). The most common woody species in the catchment are Tectona grandis, A. africana, P. erinaceus, Anarcadium occidentale, Azadirachta indica, P. africana, Elaeis guineensis, Mangifera indica, P. biglobosa, Vitellaria paradoxa, Daniellia oliveri, M. excelsa, K. senegalensis, and Anogeissus leiocarpa (Lokonon et al., 2017). ...
Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) G. Don, Pterocarpus erinaceus Poir, Milicia excelsa (Welw.) C. C. Berg, Prosopis africana (Guill., Perrot. and Rich.) Taub., Afzelia africana Sm. and Khaya senegalensis (Desv.) A. Juss. are the most highly valued indigenous tree species in the agroforestry systems of the Ouémé catchment area. However, information on the population structure of these species is lacking, thus limiting the development of their sustainable conservation, utilization and restoration strategies. This study addressed this gap. It assessed the population structures and regeneration status of the six species from Don, Tan-Houègbo, Atchabita, Bétékoukou, Glazoué, Tchaorou, Zagnanado, Tévèdji, Sinaou and Bétérou along the catchment. Data were collected from 78 permanent rectangular plots (50 × 30 m) randomly installed within 10 provenances. Dendrometric data including diameter at breast height (dbh) of adult trees (dbh ≥ 10 cm), collar diameter, total height of seedlings and saplings, number of individuals per species according to adult, sapling and seedling were recorded. The population structure was described using ecological and dendrometric parameters (relative frequency, importance value index (IVI), mean densities, basal area, mean height), and diameter size-class distributions. Seedling:sapling and sapling:adult ratios were also computed and analyzed for determining regeneration patterns. Based on IVI, Parkia biglobosa (95.85%) and Khaya senegalensis (65.92%) were the most represented species in the catchment area. The analysis of variances showed that dendrometric parameters of the six species varied significantly between provenances. Seedling:sapling and sapling:adult ratios were
... Yet, habitat and forest loss has been estimated at 50,000 ha/year (FAO, 2011), largely attributed to land clearing for agriculture and illegal timber and charcoal production. (Lokonon et al., 2019). In eight villages in Benin, we conducted surveys with Fulani, traditional pastoralists ( Figure 1). ...
... We used K. senegalensis, a native, culturally important species in Benin to exemplify the impact of discount rates on conservation decisions because (1) it is listed as vulnerable by IUCN and is of high concern for conservation by local communities (Lokonon et al., 2019); (2) its high timber value causes ongoing illegal harvest; (3) Fulani selectively harvest its NTFPs, especially during the dry season, for medicinal purposes, including to treat malaria, and for their livestock (Gaoue & Ticktin, 2009;Houehanou, Assogbadjo, Kakaï, Houinato, & Sinsin, 2011); and (4) discount rates for slow growing species has been central to discounting debates (e.g., Clark, 1973). ...
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Natural resource management involves balancing benefits and costs that accrue through time. How individuals and local communities weight such tradeoffs can profoundly influence how they use and conserve resources. Our goal was to understand time preferences of future benefits for goods that are relevant for developing effective conservation strategies. We surveyed >500 Fulani in Benin about their time preferences regarding financial, ecological, and agricultural goods, summarizing these in the form of discount rates. In a discrete-time, constant annual form, our results were much higher (median: 150%) than values often discussed in literature. These discount rates declined through time; people valued the future more than would be assumed based on constant discounting. Discount rates were higher for financial goods than ecological or agricultural goods. We illustrate how our estimates of discount rates change recommendations for optimal management of forest resource harvesting in the tropics. While members of this grazing community discount future benefits at a high rate, they do so in ways that contrast with conventional economic theory and favor long-term use of nontimber forest products.
... Plants are also used as wood energy (e.g. coal making), in construction and in craft (Sèwadé et al. 2018;Lokonon et al. 2019;Naah, 2020). Others plants are used to control plant pests (Stevenson et al. 2010;Roy et al. 2016;Stevenson et al. 2017). ...
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Benin has a high-value plant resources among which galactogenic plants are neglected. This paper aimed at assessing the diversity and indigenous practices associated with in situ conservation of galactogenic plants in the agro-ecological areas of Benin. An ethnobotanical study was carried out involving 310 informants in five sociolinguistic groups. The relative frequency of citation and fidelity index were used to assess the galactogenic value of each species. A principal component analysis and correspondence analysis were performed respectively to depict the relationships between the use of galac-togenic plants and the sociolinguistic groups and appreciate the relationships between sociolinguistic groups and local practices for in situ conservation of galactogenic plants. A total of 69 galactogenic species belonging to 57 genera and 25 families were identified. Results also showed that predominant species were Fabaceae (18.8%), Poaceae (11.6%), Euphor-biaceae (10.1%), Caesalpiniaceae, Combretaceae and Apocynaceae (7.2%). The most represented genera were Euphorbia (5.9%) and Ficus (4.5%). According to the informants, Afzelia africana Sm. ex Pers., Euphorbia balsamifera Aiton, Bobgunnia madagas-cariensis (Desv.) J.H.Kirkbr. & Wiersema, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. and Arachis hypogaea L. are the most effective galactogenic species for milk production with cow. Knowledge about galactogenic plants varied significantly across sociolinguistic groups, but not across agro-ecological zones and socio-professional profiles. Results also indicated that informants had poor knowledge of phenological time-axis of plant species, including A. africana, Pterocar-pus erinaceus Poir. and Khaya senegalensis (Desr.) A. Juss. Local in situ conservation practices identified were protection of seedlings, preservation of the species in the fields and habitation, and plantation. Phenological studies of the most important galacto-genic species are necessary to define appropriate strategies for their rational use and conservation.
Identification and assessment of the influence of socio-cultural beliefs in the perception of ecosystem services values are increasingly important for the management of forest resources. In this paper, we present a comparative study of local perceptions of the diversity of ecosystem services, values and priorities between communities living near sacred and non-sacred forests. This study revealed 21 ecosystem services related to sacred and non-sacred forests, grouped under four categories: provisioning (n = 6), regulating (n = 7), supporting (n = 2) and cultural (n = 6) services. Local populations living near the sacred forest (Kikélé Sacred Forest) identified the non-material benefits of ecosystem services such as spiritual inspiration and religious values as more important compared to populations living around the non-sacred forest (Pénessoulou Forest Reserve). In communities near the sacred forest, similar perceptions of spiritual values of the forest were observed among young and old, and between those with and without formal education, suggesting a strong transmission between socio-demographic strata of cultural values related to the forest. However, a greater importance was given by young and formally educated community members in the provisioning services of non-sacred forests. Forest management under traditional rules and harboring voodoo, a traditional religion in Benin, could explain forest ecosystem perceptions, with higher valuation of non-material ecosystem services in comparison to those of people living in the vicinity of forests without voodoo. Our study highlights the challenges of ecosystem service valuation at the sacred and non-sacred forest interface and shows the importance of integrating traditional beliefs in forest ecosystem management strategies.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Plant parts are often used by local people to treat their affections. This study addressed the classification of diseases treated with woody species in Benin and the dependence of medicinal use of woody species on climatic zones. Aim of the study: It reports (i) the main diseases categories treated with woody species in Benin and changes across climatic zones, and (ii) the woody species involved and their treatment according to climate conditions. Materials and methods: Ethnobotanical interviews were undertaken using a semi-structured questionnaire. Five hundred and ninety medicinal plant professionals (healers, traders…) were interviewed in the whole country. Frequency of citation and informant consensus factor were calculated to highlight the main human international diseases categories and woody species used for their treatment. A principal component analysis was performed to determine the occurrence of diseases categories in different climatic zones. Results: About 77.27% of international diseases categories were treated using woody species in Benin. One hundred diseases in 17 international diseases categories were identified. Among them, six diseases categories were highlighted as important. In the Guineo-Congolean zone, the highest rate of diseases categories was observed, and the lowest was found in the Sudanian zone. The epidemiological status of some phytodistricts was worrisome. In our study, 128 woody species belonging to 96 genera and 36 families were reported, and among them, 7 were the most used as treatments. Conclusions: There is a lack of consensus among traditional healers about which woody species to use. Many different species were used to treat a given diseases category. Also, information concerning their organ composition was not available in the literature, for the majority of species. Biological and chemical investigations are thus needed for a better valorization of the most frequently used plants in the future.
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African rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceus Poir.) is a multi-purpose woody species threatened by an insufficient natural regeneration in the wild. Seed pre-treatments are expected to improve seed germination, but their effect may vary according to seeds provenance. In the present study, differences in seed germination capacity and seedling growth among three provenances of pre-treated seeds of P. erinaceus were evaluated. Seeds were collected in the three biogeographical zones of Benin. Two seed treatments were tested: treatment 1, seed left in cool water (15°C) for 24 hours; treatment 2, scarified seed; and seed with no treatment (control). The treatments and provenances were combined in a randomized complete block design with three replicates. The germination dynamics, seedling growth in diameter, total height and number of leaves as well as parasitic pressure (the number of attack) of seedlings were analysed using linear mixed effects model. The highest germination rate was recorded for seeds from the Sudanian zone, up to 45% on day 39 resulting to the adaptability of this species to new environment. There was a significant (Prob < 0.05) effect of seed pre-treatment on diameter growth, seedling height and number of leaves. High parasitic pressure was observed on seedlings and further researches are needed for controlling parasite. Based on these observations Sudanian seeds must be proposed and strategies are required for the efficient ex situ conservation of P. erinaceus.
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Quantitative ethnobotany researches can contribute much to guide biodiversity conservation, especially in developing countries. Our study presents a step-by-step approach to identify priority species for local conservation of useful woody species. The presented approach includes (1) an investigation of the popularity and versatility of woody species in the local people, (2) an estimation of the ecological availability of useful tree species in the forest and (3) identification of local priority species for conservation. We focused the study on the Wari-Maro forest reserve in the Sudanian zone of Benin as an example to implement such approach and identify useful priority species for sustainable conservation and management strategies development. Ethnobotanical surveys were conducted with people in surrounding villages of the forest composed by different sociocultural groups. Floristic vegetation surveys were performed within the forest to assess the local ecological availability of used woody species. A principal component analysis was performed to analyze the versatility, the popularity and the ecological availability of species. Spearman’s correlation test was used to assess relation between variables. In total, 79 woody species were reported for seven main types of uses: technology, construction, medicinal, veterinary, food, forage and energy. Among them, 35 were most popular and versatile, and 3 were characterized as priorities for conservation especially regarding their less availability and more versatility. We discussed the used approach by the underlining importance of integrating wood uses or multiples uses in conservation priorities setting and conservation decision-making of useful woody tree species.
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Traditional knowledge of woody plants from the vegetation type known as caatinga was documented in the rural communities of João Câmara, Rio Grande do Norte, and Remígio, Paraíba, in northeastern Brazil. The relationship between the species availability and their local importance or use value (the “ecological apparency hypothesis”) was evaluated based on the calculation of three types of use value: UVgeneral, UVactual, and UVpotential. A phytosociological study was conducted using the point-centered quarter method for sampling 4000 individual plants in the two communities studied. Semi-structured ethnobotanical interviews about the use and human cultural role of plants were carried out with 92 local participants (49 women and 43 men). The correlation between ethnobotanical and phytosociological data was analyzed using the Spearman correlation coefficient. A total of 58 useful plant species, belonging to 42 genera of 18 plant families, was recorded in interviews. Through the phytosociological study, 30 species belonging to 22 genera and 12 families in João Câmara, and 34 species of 22 genera from nine families in Remígio, were recorded. The ecological apparency hypothesis was supported in João Câmara, which showed positive correlations between UVgeneral and dominance (rs = 0.49; p <0.02) and UVactual and dominance (rs = 0.43; p <0.04), but not in Remígio. Analyzing the data per use categories showed that only the technology category exhibited a positive correlation between UVpotential and dominance (rs = 0.60; and p <0.03). Ecological apparency could explain better the relationship between the local availability and the use value of the timber resources. The point-centered quarter method was efficient to test the ecological apparency hypothesis.
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This paper aims to characterize the landscape of classified forests of Kétou and Dogo and model degradation by fragmentation of its plant formations. A multi-criteria methodology for the extraction and use of geographic information has been used to treat Lands a timages and determine the effect size fragmentation mesh. The results show that the spatial structure of the two forest studyis disrupted by the landscape dynamics evaluated over the 2000to 2013 period. The set of natural vegetation under the crops and fallow land pressure has become more important in the Ketu forest with an increase of26.83% and less important in that of Dogo with a24.67%decline.The first forest is characterized by a diversification of the landscape, while the second that of Dogo shows a simplification. Plant formations are fragmented at various levels. Patches very small areas(0.0056 hectares-44.80hectares)are relatively more important for forests and savannas of Dogo than for Ketu. In this lastforest,52.96% of all vegetation is fragmented with patches of less than25 hectares, while in the Dogo, this criticism fragmentation represents a proportion of24.95%. This situation shows that forest structure and bio diversity are already targeted deep and lasting affected. Fragmentation maps are performed on each forest study. Two groups of vegetation degradation factors were identified: physical (the fractures and lineaments network, weathered rocks, bare soil and surface water) and anthropogenic factor (the mosaic of crop and fallow). A linear function of the degradation of vegetation from these factors has been proposed for each forest study, as well as two scenarios for their simulation.
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Tropical fruit trees constitute important biological resources in the global agrobiodiversity context. Unlike the tropical fruit trees of American and Asian origin, indigenous fruit trees (IFT) of tropical Africa have scarcely achieved the status of international recognition in commodity markets and research arena outside Africa. This paper presented a critical review of the status of IFT in the Tropical African sub-regions (of West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands) in relation to the introduced naturalised fruit trees from tropical America and Asia, threats to the diversity and sustainable use of IFT, analysis of the opportunities and challenges of developing IFT, as well as targets for crop improvement of the rich IFT of Tropical Africa. Domestication programme via relevant vegetative propagation techniques for priority IFT of the sub-regions was examined and advocated, in addition to the adoption of complementary conservation strategies, including Field GeneBanks in the management of the continent’s IFT diversity.
Ouémé catchment experiences increasing degradation of its natural resources due to anthropogenic pressure. Consequently, most of the agroforestry species as well as the cultural and Indigenous knowledge related to them are facing a very high risk of extinction. The present research aimed to assess the biodiversity of the useful woody species in this area and their cultural importance and then prioritize these woody species for conservation purpose. An ethnobotanical survey was carried out among 411 randomly selected households followed by an ecological survey conducted in 69 random plots of 0.15 ha. Ecological and ethnobotanical parameters were calculated and then analyzed. To determine the local priorities species for conservation, a local conservation priority index (LCPI) was computed for each species. The high value of LCPI for a given species indicates the need for a greater level of attention for conservation and management. Fortyfive useful woody species belonging to 21 families dominated by Leguminosae (24.44%) and Anacardiaceae (8.88%) were reported. The fortyfive species were categorized into six use categories by the informants: food, medicinal, construction, fuel, veterinary and technology. The most useful species were Elaeis guineensis (UV=0.24), followed by Parkia biglobosa (UV=0.19) and Vitellaria paradoxa (UV=0.18). The prioritization method yielded top ten ranked species: Parkia biglobosa, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Adansonia digitata, Milicia excelsa, Irvingia gabonensis, Vitex doniana, Prosopis africana, Diospyros mespiliformis, Afzelia africana and Vitellaria paradoxa. With the aim of establishing the sustainable management in the catchment, we suggest that more attention be paid to the aforementioned species as part of rehabilitation activities.
This study was carried out to obtain information on the distribution and socio-economics of Parkia. Biglobosa and Tamarindus indica, as well as other constraints to their production in the Sudan and Guinea savanna agro ecologies of Nigeria, using structural questionnaires that were administered to farmers and herb sellers/herbalist who are not less than 40 years of age. The data generated showed that P. biglobosa and T. indica were commonly found in and around the house-hold compound (40%), while plantation of these tree species were rarely in existence within the agro ecologies (10%). It was gathered from the findings that these tree species play great role in socio-economic (100%) and trado-medical life (50%) of the rural people. Many of the respondents (40-90%) reported insect pests and disease as major constraints to their cultivations, while some admitted that low seed germination greatly hindered the cultivation of these trees within the agro ecologies.Global Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol.2(2) 2003: 122-126