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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
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... Purposively, Ouémé Catchment was selected because of the occurrence of traditional farmland for agroforestry practices, the growing incidence of degradation of native tree species as a result of the increase in cultivation of exotic tree species and farm-households represented the main economic source (Lokonon et al. 2022). ...
Increase in human population and activities are having signi cant impacts on the conservation of biodiversity. As traditional farmlands have challenges of coupling crop production and conservation of biodiversity, this study aims at assessing traditional farmlands in regard to their typology and impacts on conservation of tree species. A line transect of 26 km was applied for the identi cation of the farmlands and tree species were inventoried within each farm. A cluster analysis was performed; tree species diversity indices and dendrometric parameters were computed and analysed according to each of farmland groups. Five groups of traditional farmlands were found with the small areas with high number of crop species and tree species with dominated cover and the large areas with small number of crop species and tree species with high crown cover and a high number of tree species. The trees species diversity was high within the largest size farmlands. The tree density (p = 0.249), total height of trees (p = 0.585) and tree crown area (p = 0.813) were not signi cantly different among farmland groups. The stem diameter varied signi cantly among farmland groups and the large size farmland groups have high diameter values. The distributions of the diameter of trees for all the farmland groups showed the shapes that were characterized by the tree populations with higher amount of small size stands for all farmland groups. Large farmlands may be promoted to target tree species conservation in agricultural areas in the localities of Ouémé catchment.
The African baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) is a multipurpose orphan tree species of the semi-arid and sub-humid Sub-Saharan Africa where it plays an important role in rural livelihoods. Its wide distribution and dense nutrition properties make it an important species for food and nutrition security in Africa. However, despite the increasing interest in the species over the past two decades, the full potential of baobab remains underexploited. This review highlights strides made over the past 20 years (2001–2020) towards harnessing and unlocking the potential values of baobab in Benin, West Africa, to contribute to food and nutrition security. Challenges and threats are identified, and next steps suggested to guide research and development initiatives for orphan tree fruit species like baobab to address hunger and malnutrition in Africa.
Environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity and climate change threaten the stability of our planet. Inappropriate approaches to food production interact with hunger, malnutrition and extreme poverty, especially in the tropics and sub-tropics. These approaches, in turn, enhance social deprivation and limit rural development, both of which are drivers of economic migration and civil conflict. Exacerbated by population growth, food systems lie at the heart of these global issues. Here, a planet-proofing approach developed in Africa is presented that illustrates that it is possible to diversify and rehabilitate degraded farmland with species producing highly nutritious and marketable traditional foods in ways that improve food production by conventional staple food crops. Furthermore, it rebuilds agroecological functions and creates new local business opportunities to kick-start rural economies and enhance social well-being. Together, these benefits promote livelihoods and social justice, the mitigation of and/or adaptation to climate change, and the provision of wildlife habitat. This approach offers a highly adaptable model that enhances past investments in the Green Revolution in ways that address both the environmental and social constraints limiting both mainstream agriculture in Africa — and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals globally. Rehabilitation of degraded farmlands can have diverse benefits for sustainability, supporting rural livelihoods, economies, society and culture, as well as contributing to food security. A long-established agroforestry programme in Cameroon illustrates these benefits.
Your article is protected by copyright and all rights are held exclusively by Springer Nature Switzerland AG. This e-offprint is for personal use only and shall not be self-archived in electronic repositories. If you wish to self-archive your article, please use the accepted manuscript version for posting on your own website. You may further deposit the accepted manuscript version in any repository, provided it is only made publicly available 12 months after official publication or later and provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication and a link is inserted to the published article on Springer's website. The link must be accompanied by the following text: "The final publication is available at link.springer.com". Vol.:(0123456789) 1 3 Modeling Earth Systems and Environment https://doi. Abstract Forests are the most important terrestrial ecosystems providing sustenance not only to biodiversity but also to the rural communities. These resources are subjected to constant degradation and exploitation due to anthropogenic activities and changes in the climatic phenomena. Thus, present study examined the inherent forest vulnerability in one of the important Himalayan state, Uttarakhand in India. Site specific landscape parameters were chosen to analyze the vulnerability. GIS based analytical hierarchy process (AHP) was utilized to identify the important drivers of forest vulnerability in the study area. Findings revealed that of the total forested area, most of the area (61%) was under very high vulnerability followed by high vulnerability (36%). AHP analysis revealed that the main drivers of the inherent forest vulnerability were open forest cover, high disturbance in the forested areas, low biological richness and high road density. Findings of this study may help in understanding of the inherent forest vulnerability and adapting sustainable forest management strategies to control further forest degradation in the study area.
The study was conducted to investigate the population structure and regeneration status of South Nandi forest and document uses of trees using 35 nested - plots of size 600 m² (30 m × 20 m) each. A total of 68 species from 37 families and 60 genera of woody plants were encountered in the study area. The plants were categorized into seedlings, saplings and adults based on DBH classes then status of natural regeneration category determined. A Shannon-Weinner index mean value of 2.64 was obtained suggesting high species diversity in South Nandi forest. About 16.2% of woody species in the forest showed none to poor regeneration; good to fair regeneration (36.6%) and new regeneration of 47.2%.The population structure of the woody species showed an inverse-J curve when all species were considered. However, individual species showed varying patterns; for example, Olea capensis, Albizia gummifera, Maesopsis eminii and Mimulopsis arborenscens did not show the inverse -J curve. The density and basal area for whole forest was 537.3 ± 74.8 stems ha⁻¹ and 26.8 ± 12.0 m²ha-1 respectively. Solanum mauritianum has become invasive in the forest and quick action is required to check its spread. Species with low Importance Value indices and those species with none to poor regeneration status should be prioritized for conservation. Over 78% of the plant species had multiple uses suggesting that this forest played an important role in the household's subsistence and income contribution. Detailed regeneration studies are recommended to fully understand the causes and probable mechanisms that could promote natural regeneration.
Over the last 25 years, the process of domesticating culturally-important, highly-nutritious, indigenous food-tree species. Integrating these over-looked 'Cinderella' species into conventional farming systems as new crops is playing a critical role in raising the productivity of staple food crops and improving the livelihoods of poor smallholder farmers. This experience has important policy implications for the sustainability of tropical/sub-tropical agriculture, the rural economy and the global environment. A participatory domestication process has been implemented in local communities using appropriate horticultural technologies to characterize genetic variation in non-timber forest products and produce putative cultivars by the vegetative propagation of elite trees in rural resource centers. When integrated into mainstream agriculture, these new crops diversify farmers' fields and generate income. Together, these outcomes address land degradation and social deprivation-two of the main constraints to staple food production-through beneficial effects on soil fertility, agroecosystem functions, community livelihoods, local trade and employment. Thus, the cultivation of these 'socially modified crops' offers a new strategy for the sustainable intensification of tropical agriculture based on the maximization of total factor productivity with minimal environmental and social trade-offs.
The study was conducted at Gra-Kahsu protected natural vegetation (PNV) and communal grazing land (CGL), in order to evaluate the conservation impact level. The diversity of plant species, population structure of woody species, and regeneration status were analysed from 62 quadrats, each with 20 m _ 20 m for trees and 5 m _ 5 m for shrubs, using systematic sampling methods. A total of 64 vascular plant species belonging to 52 genera and 37 families from PNV and 43 plant species belonging to 34 genera and 25 families from CGL was identified. Shannon diversity index values of PNV and CGL were 2.29 and 1.84, respectively. The mean basal area of PNV and CGL were 8.29 and 5.32 m2/ha, respectively. Three community types from PNV and two from CGL were identified. The population structure of woody species based on diameter and height class distribution showed reflected reversed J-shape for PNV however, bell-shaped, and interrupted inverted J-shape for CGL. The regeneration status of PNV and CGL were considered as good (sapling > seedling > matures) and fair (mature > sapling > seedling), respectively. Therefore, the floristic analysis of these two adjacent land use systems located in similar landscape showed distinctive variation in floristic composition, diversity, and regeneration status, which could be taken as the best practice of restoration and rehabilitation programs like, area exclosure.
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.
Afzelia africana is a tropical multi-use tree species distributed in West, East, and Central Africa. Understanding factors affecting seedlings is crucial to design an effective conservation and restoration plan for the species. Here, we examined the factors constraining seedling density and survival. We randomly established 203 circular plots of 5-m radius around adult trees in two different management systems (Agro-silvo-pastoral system and Protected Area). Then, we focused on the measurement of seedling density, survival/mortality in 2014 and 2015, and estimated disturbance and micro-environment features. We found that seedling mortality rate was higher in Agro-silvo-pastoral system than in Protected area, demonstrating the prominent role of the protected area for the species conservation. The more intense adult trees are pruned, the lower the seedling density beneath, showing a negative effect of pruning on seedling. Seedling density is relatively higher under large trees, revealing the seedlings recruitment bottleneck due to repeated fire and browsing. Furthermore, our data supported the Janzen–Connell effect, suggesting that seedlings are attacked by predators of their parents. Finally, we conclude that management system, pruning intensity, seedling predation determine the regeneration status of A. africana in Sudanian zone. Artificial regeneration program is necessary, as well as shelters and thorny protectors should be established around seedlings under reproductive trees. Firebreaks are also recommended to protect the seedlings and Afzelia stands.
Diverses essences forestières, dont cer-taines sont menacées, sont exploitées pour leur bois, légalement ou non. Les essences prioritaires pour la conservation à long terme doivent donc être défi-nies. La présente étude a permis de réali-ser un inventaire des essences exploitées au Bénin et d'identifier les essences prioritaires pour lesquelles des actions urgentes de conservation et de restau-ration sont nécessaires. Des recherches bibliographiques complétées par des entretiens avec différentes parties pre-nantes ont été menées afin de recueillir les données requises pour dresser une liste exhaustive des essences priori-taires. Dix critères et quatre méthodes de priorisation ont été utilisés. Au final, l'approche a retenu 10 essences parmi les 15 essences prioritaires définies par chacune des méthodes. Au total, 24 espèces végétales ont été identifiées, appartenant à 9 familles : Fabacées (25 %), Malvacées (20,83 %), Mélia-cées (16,67 %), Combrétacées (8,33 %), Moracées (8,33 %), Verbénacées (8,33 %), Ébénacées (4,17 %), Rutacées (4,17 %) et Myrtacées (4,17 %). Des mesures de conservation et de restaura-tion sont préconisées d'urgence pour les 10 essences prioritaires ainsi retenues.
The study aimed to investigate the relative significance of effects of climatic variability and human disturbance on the population structure of the threatened species Afzelia africana Sm. ex Pers. in the Republic of Benin in West Africa. Forest inventory data such as regeneration density, tree diameter and total height were compiled from A. africana forest stands under different disturbance regimes in the three climatic zones of Benin. Multiple generalised linear models and non-linear diameter–height equations were fitted to contrast the individual effects of categorical variables, such as climatic zone and disturbance level. Results revealed significantly higher scaling coefficients in less drier regions and low-disturbance stands. The diameter–height relationship was more controlled by the climatic zone than by the disturbance level. Accordingly, the disturbance level contributed only to the intercept of the diameter–height model, whereas the climatic zone significantly influenced both intercept and slope. In addition, when climatic zone and disturbance level were considered as sources of variation in the diameter–height model, the former explained the greater marginal variance. It was concluded that climate has the greater effect on population structure of A. africana in natural stands.
The present investigation aimed to study the regeneration status of tree species and survival of naturally emerged seedlings along an altitudinal gradient in a protected area of Western Himalaya, India. A total of 44 tree species of 36 genera and 25 families were recorded from the study area. Regeneration status of species was determined based on population size of seedlings and saplings while seedling survival was determined by silver foil tagging method. Seedling density and Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H) ranged from 1670 to 7485 ind ha⁻¹ and 1.91 to 3.32, respectively, while sapling density and Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H) varied from 1850 to 5600 ind ha⁻¹ and 1.23 to 2.57 respectively. Although the majority (27-56%) of species showed good regeneration, a good percentage (19-45%) of tree species showed poor regeneration while fair regeneration was shown by 7-30% of species and new regeneration by 0-14%. Diameter density distribution showed that lower diameter classes have the highest frequency with a gradual decrease in the number of individuals in the higher classes resulting in the formation of an inverse-J curve that is considered to be an indication of good regeneration status. Survival of seedlings in different forests varied from 0-88% (mortality varied from 12-100%). Natural calamities and anthropogenic disturbances are responsible for the high mortality of seedlings. A few species showed discontinuous regeneration due to which it is expected that these tree species although dominant at present may be at risk in future.
Precipitation forcing is usually the main source of uncertainty in hydrology.
It is of crucial importance to use accurate forcing in order to obtain a good
distribution of the water throughout the basin. For real-time applications,
satellite observations allow quasi-real-time precipitation monitoring like
the products PERSIANN (Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks, TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) or CMORPH (CPC (Climate Prediction Center) MORPHing). However, especially in West Africa, these precipitation satellite products are highly inaccurate and the water amount can vary by a factor of 2. A post-adjusted version of these products exists but is available with a 2 to 3 month delay, which is not suitable for real-time hydrologic applications. The purpose of this work is to show the possible synergy between quasi-real-time satellite precipitation and soil moisture by assimilating the latter into a hydrological model. Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) soil moisture is assimilated into the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM) model. By adjusting the soil water content, water table depth and streamflow simulations are much improved compared to real-time precipitation without assimilation: soil moisture bias is decreased even at deeper soil layers, correlation of the water table depth is improved from 0.09–0.70 to 0.82–0.87, and the Nash coefficients of the streamflow go from negative to positive. Overall, the statistics tend to get closer to those from the reanalyzed precipitation. Soil moisture assimilation represents a fair alternative to reanalyzed rainfall products, which can take several months before being available, which could lead to a better management of available water resources and extreme events.
Hyphaene thebaica Mart. (doum palm) is an agroforestry tree with high ecological and economic value, but currently its populations are harvested excessively, which is likely to increase in the future. This study assessed the current status of this species with regard to increasing landscape modification and human pressure in Benin. We compared the structure of adult palms in farmlands to those within the Biosphere Reserve of Pendjari (BRP). In addition, spatial patterns and sex ratio of the species were compared between both land use types. Results showed that mean diameter (adult palms) and density (adult palms and seedlings) were significantly higher (P < 0.001) in BRP than in farmlands. However, no significant differences were noticed for doum palm height and density of juveniles (P > 0.05). The pair correlation function showed globally a random pattern for all palm life stages, albeit with a weak aggregation in farmlands. In the BRP, a strong aggregated pattern is observed for seedlings, whereas all other palm life stages showed globally a random pattern. Moreover, no spatial association was observed within palm life stages and between palm life stages and other tree species, but did exist between females and seedlings in the BRP. The sex ratio did not depart from 0.5 in both land use types. We conclude that in spite of the land use difference, the doum palm species is still well preserved. However, rapid land-use intensifications may lead to increasing pressure on the species populations in the future.
This study was conducted on the woodland and riverine vegetation of Sire Beggo in Gololcha District, eastern Ethiopia with the aim of documenting the floristic composition, population structure and identifying major plant community types. Preferential sampling method was employed to collect vegetation data by focusing on vegetation homogeneity. From the study sites, 70 quadrats (each measuring 20 x 20 m = 400 m 2) were sampled. Regeneration status of woody plants was also assessed using the same quadrate size. The data on the herbaceous species were collected from five, 1 m x 1 m subplots laid at four corners each and one at the centre of the large plot. Vegetation classification was performed using TWINSPAN software package. A total of 185 plant species, representing 61 families were recorded. Fabaceae was the dominant family represented by 15 genera and 23 species, followed by Poaceae and Euphorbiaceae with 17 and 12 species each respectively. The output of TWINSPAN showed five plant community types. Structural analysis of the dominant species revealed different patterns of population structure. Some of the results of population structure and regeneration status indicated abnormal pattern which dictate the need for an urgent conservation of the study area.
Urbanisation in Brazil's Amazonian
region is not only occurring along pioneer
fronts. In remote regions, many
Amerindian groups are beginning to settle
in towns, transforming their production
systems as they do so. Taking a
periurban zone in north-west Amazonia
as an example, we investigate the agroeconomic
factors and land use practices
that may account for the relative
resilience of the forest agro-ecosystem.
There are three main cultivation systems
in the region: polyculture rotating
with 15 to 25-year fallows, cassava
growing after clearance of young forest
recruitment (8 to 12 years) and agro-forest
gardens. The agro-economic viability
of these practices depends on the way
these cultivation systems complement
each other in time and space. In periurban
zones, the logic of land capitalisation
and market specialisation is often
reflected in the conversion of fallow
land to multi-layer orchard-gardens.
However, given increasing competition
for access to natural resources, most
town-dwelling Amerindian families opt
for spatial diversification of their production
units. Circular mobility patterns
enable them to maintain several production
sites located in both urban periurban
and forest areas. By preserving
the complementarity over space and
time of different agro-forestry systems,
these territorial networks help to reproduce
the agro-ecological capacities of
periurban cultivated ecosystems. The
resilience of Amerindian forest resource
management systems opens up new
perspectives for the development of
urbanised areas in Amazonia.
Belete forest is one of the very few remnant moist evergreen montane forests in Ethiopia. The objective of this work was to study the vegetation structure, composition and Natural regeneration status of Belete moist evergreen montane forest. To investigate the plant community structure, composition and regeneration status of Belete forest, line transects were laid down on the longest transect starting from the bottom valley to the top ridge. Sample quadrats 20m x20 m, 5m x 5m, 1m x 1m were laid for trees, shrubs, sapling and seedling, and herbaceous layer respectively in a nested form. The sample quadrats were laid down along transects at a distance of 50m from each other. A total of 69 quadrats were sampled. Vegetation classification was performed using PC - ORD for windows version 5.0. Five communities were recognized. Results showed that a total of 157 plant species representing 69 families and 135 genera were recorded. These were composed of 31.2% Herbs, 28.7% Trees, 26.1% Shrubs, 5.7% Climbers, 5.1% Liana, 1.9% Epiphytic herbs, and 1.3% herbaceous Ferns. The major families were Fabaceae and Asteraceae each represented by 10 species (6.4%), followed by Lamiaceae 9 (5.7%) and Rubiaceae 6 (3.8%). Other thirty three families consisting 19.8% were represented by one species only. Regeneration status of the forest was analyzed by comparing saplings and seedlings with the matured trees. Results revealed that Belete moist evergreen montane forest is at good regeneration status. Planning and management of the forest should be assisted by research findings, such as detailed ecological studies in relation to various environmental factors.
Anthropogenic disturbances and climatic variations are presumed to alter species population structures. In this study,we assessed the population structure of the endangered species, Afzelia africana across gradients of climate and human disturbances. Dendrometric variables such as regeneration and tree density, mean diameter, basal area and height and stem diameter distribution were recorded at national scale in forest reserves located in three different climatic zones in Bénin. A canonical discriminant analysiswas applied to describe the species' population structure across climatic zones and disturbance levels. Relationships between the principal components (structural parameters of A. africana stands) and climatic variables and disturbance levels were assessed using Pearson correlation. Significant differences were found in the structural parameters between the disturbance levels, mostly in the Guinean zone. Structural parameters also differed significantly across the three climatic zones, with the Guinean zone recording the highest values. The effects of disturbance levels on structural parameters depend on the climatic zone, and vice versa. The results imply an interaction between climatic zones and disturbance levels. In the Guinean zone, the tallest and biggest trees were found at the low disturbance level. However, along the climatic gradient (towards drier regions), trees were shorter and smaller irrespective of disturbance level. Further, the tallest and biggest trees were found at lower altitudes.
The velvet tamarind (Dialium guineense Willd) is one of the key species for domestication in Sub-Saharan Africa. In order to help the sustainable management and conservation of this species, its structural characteristics and ethnobotanical traits were studied in the 4 vegetation types (typical dense forest, degraded dense forest, young fallow and old fallow) of the Lama forest reserve. A forest inventory was carried out in 100 randomly selected squared plots of one ha each in the 4 vegetation types. One rectangular plot of 0.15 ha was set up within each 1 ha plot for their structural description. Moreover, 10 squared plots of 10 m side were established on one of the diagonal in each one ha plot in order to estimate regeneration density.
An ethnobotanical survey was also carried out among 100 randomly selected people of the Holli, Fon and Adja sociocultural groups living adjacent to the forest. Results showed that there were significant differences between the 4 vegetation types according dendrometric parameters. Stem diameter structure showed a nonnormal
shape. Ethnobotanical survey revealed that D. guineense is an agroforestry species and most of ethnobotanical knowledge is held by men of Holli sociocultural group.
Trees inside and outside forests contribute to food security in Africa in the face of climate variability and change. They also provide environmental and social benefits as part of farming livelihoods. Varied ecological and socio-economic conditions have given rise to specific forms of agroforestry in different parts of Africa. Policies that institutionally segregate forest from agriculture miss opportunities for synergy at landscape scale. More explicit inclusion of agroforestry and the integration of agriculture and forestry agendas in global initiatives on climate change adaptation and mitigation can increase their effectiveness. We identify research gaps and overarching research questions for the contributions in this special issue that may help shape current opinion in environmental sustainability.
We conducted a study in Komto Forest in East Wollega Zone, Oromia National Regional State, West Ethiopia for determining vegetation structure and regeneration status in this forest. We systematically sampled 53 quadrats (20 m × 20 m) along line transects radiating from the peak of Komto Mountain in eight directions. Vegetation parameters such as DBH, height, seedling and sapling density of woody species, and location and altitude of each quadrat were recorded. In total, 103 woody plant species of 87 genera and 45 families were identified. Analysis of selected tree species revealed different population structures. Generally, the forest was dominated by small trees and shrubs characteristic of secondary regeneration. Observations on the regeneration of the forest indicated that there are woody species that require urgent conservation measures. Based on the results of this study, we recommend detailed ecological studies of various environmental factors such as soil type and properties, and ethnobotanical studies to explore indigenous knowledge on uses of plants.
Large baobabs are prominent in many African savannas, but the apparent lack of young trees suggests that recruitment is limited and possibly episodic. This study aims to determine if recruitment was seed or establishment (microsite) limited. From five annual seed crops, baobab seed consistently exhibits high viability (>89%) and a field trial shows they form persistent soil seed banks. Seed production is substantial (5500 ± 2334 seed/ha) and thus recruitment does not appear to be seed limited. In closed plots (excluding livestock) 6.33% of seeds emerged after 328 ± 28 (mean ± SE) days and of these 94.4% died within 21 ± 5 days of moisture stress and insect browsing. In open plots (exposed to livestock) 2% of seeds emerged after 377 ± 5 days and all died within 12 ± 5 days from goat browsing. Planted sapling survival in closed plots (65%) was much higher than in open plots (10%), with an average time to death of 10.45 ± 0.97 and 4.33 ± 0.45 months respectively. Hence seedling establishment is poor in response to infrequent rainfall and survival of seedlings and saplings, that do manage to persist, is further hampered by high livestock numbers. Recruitment is thus microsite limited in communal lands. Planting and protection from livestock is required to overcome the recruitment bottleneck.
Severe drought and large-scale ecosystem degradation are the two major threats exacerbating livelihood vulnerability of the pastoral and agropastoral communities in Borana Zone, southern Ethiopia. Strategic integration and sustainable management of the vast gum and resin bearing dry forests offer significant socioeconomic and ecological opportunities to enhance adaptation of these communities to adverse climatic variability, while enhancing ecosystem resilience. This study was carried out to investigate the diversity, abundance, distribution, and population structure of gum and resin bearing species in Borana drylands. Surveys were carried out in two districts: Arero and Yabello. Seventy-five (20 × 20 m) quadrats were established at 500 m intervals along transects in seven localities. Forty-six woody species distributed in 16 families and 25 genera were encountered. Gum and resin producing species comprised about 42 and 61% of the total number of species, 49 and 68% of the density ha, and 73 and 84% of the total basal area at Arero and Yabello, respectively. Regeneration and diameter class distribution showed clear signs of healthy populations, except for a small number of species, which exhibited bell-shaped diameter class distribution patterns. The results revealed that Borana Zone hosts more diverse commercial gum and resin bearing species compared to the northern part of the country, where organized production and marketing of gum and resin are well developed, and other relatively similar places, such as Middle Rift Valley and the neighbouring Somali region in Ethiopia. Such diversity, abundance, and the overall positive regeneration status of most of the gum and resin bearing species in Borana make up a solid and healthy basis for promoting the sustainable management of woodland resources through organized production and commercialization of high value oleo-gum resins.
In addition to plant species biology and ecology, understanding the folk knowledge systems related to the use of plant species and how this knowledge system influences the conservation of plant species is an important issue in the implementation of sustainable strategies of biodiversity conservation programs. This study aimed at providing information on the use and local knowledge variation on Chrysophyllum albidum G. Don a multipurpose tree species widely used in southern Benin.
Data was collected through 210 structured interviews. Informants were randomly selected from ten villages. The fidelity level and use value of different plant parts of C. albidum were estimated. The variation in ethnobotanical knowledge was assessed by comparing the use value between ethnic, gender and age groups. In order to assess the use pattern of the different plant parts in folk medicine, a correspondence analysis was carried out on the frequency citation of plant parts.
Four categories of use (food, medicine, firewood and timber) were recorded for C. albidum. With respect to the different plant parts, the fleshy pulp of the African star apple fruit showed high consensus degree as food among the informants. Fifteen diseases were reported to be treated by the different parts of C. albidum in the region. Correspondence analysis revealed the specificity of each part in disease treatment. There was no significant difference among ethnic groups regarding the ethno-botanical use value of C. albidum. However, significant difference existed between genders and among age groups regarding the knowledge of the medical properties of this species.
C. albidum is well integrated in the traditional agroforestry system of the southern Benin. Despite its multipurpose character, this species remains underutilized in the region. Considering the current threat of habitat degradation, action is needed in order to ensure the long term survival of the species and local communities’ livelihoods.
Local people’s perceptions of plant species are an important source of information on species distribution and rarity, as well as long-term vegetation change. This study involves an ethnobotanical survey and the identification of potential factors that explain differences in the perceptions and valuation of woody plant species in three ethnic groups (Fulani, Mossi and Samo) of the sub-Sahel of Burkina Faso. Some 87 groups of informants from 20 villages were interviewed for this study. A species list of woody plants and their estimated abundance was categorized in terms of their uses: food, medicine, fodder, construction, energy and handicrafts. In addition, the most important species, and those considered a priority for conservation, were identified. A total of 90 woody species were mentioned in the six categories. They were from 64 genera and 32 families and sub-families, of which the Caesalpinioideae, Combretaceae, Mimosoideae and the Capparaceae dominated. In all three ethnic groups, more than 80 % of the reported species were used for energy, 60 % for medicine and 40–50 % for food. Gender was not a determinant of plant use. However, age was found to have an impact on plant knowledge in all three ethnic groups, with older people (over 50 years) reporting significantly more species than younger people (25–50 years): (U = 425, df: 15, 14, z = −4.42, p R = 0.64, p Balanites aegyptiaca was the most used species by all three ethnic groups. The most important species and identified conservation priorities, from the informants’ perspective, were similar for all ethnic groups and were mainly food species with a high socioeconomic value: Vitellaria paradoxa, Adansonia digitata, Tamarindus indica, Parkia biglobosa, Lannea microcarpa and Ziziphus mauritiana. Development projects should incorporate the preferences of local people for certain species as part of the overall strategy for poverty alleviation in Burkina Faso.
An attempt had been made to study the impact of altitude on population structure and regeneration status of two Rhododendron species as well as its associated species in a temperate forest of Arunachal Pradesh. Population structure was worked out based on the density of seedlings, saplings and adults while, the regeneration status was determined from the population size of seedlings, saplings and adults. The mid altitude site (Hanuman Camp) has highest density (2692 indi-viduals ha -1) comprising of seedlings, saplings and adults of all species followed by lower altitude (Shagong) site (2379 individuals ha -1) and lowest at (Yarlung) higher altitude site (2180 individuals ha -1). However, the relative proportion of seedlings of all woody species was recorded highest in low altitude site, while it was lowest in higher altitude. Conversely, the relative proportion of saplings and adults were highest in higher altitude. The selected Rhododendron species shows reverse J shaped population structure and fair regeneration status in all study stands having higher number of seedlings compared to saplings. However, the number of saplings is less than the adults. It was observed that the seedling populations dominate the overall population of the selected Rhododendron species. Moreover, it was found that although altitude does not affect re-generation status, but affects the population structure of the selected Rhododendrons. The fluctuation in population density of seedlings, saplings and adults along the altitudinal gradient may be linked with the prevailing environmental factors.
Many agroforestry systems are found in places that otherwise would be appropriate for natural forests, and often have replaced
them. Humans have had a profound influence on forests virtually everywhere they both are found. Thus ‘natural’ defined as
‘without human influence’ is a hypothetical construct, though one that has assumed mythological value among many conservationists.
Biodiversity is a forest value that does not carry a market price. It is the foundation, however, upon which productive systems
depend. The relationship between agroforestry and the wild biodiversity contained in more natural forests is a complicated
one, depending on the composition of the agroforestry system itself and the way it is managed. Complex forest gardens are
more supportive of biodiversity than monocrop systems, shade coffee more than sun coffee, and systems using native plants
tend to be more biologically diverse. Nonnative plants, especially potentially invasive alien species, threaten biodiversity
and need to be avoided. The relationship between forests, agroforestry and wild biodiversity can be made most productive through
applying adaptive management approaches that incorporate ongoing research and monitoring in order to feed information back
into the management system. Maintaining diversity in approaches to management of agroforestry systems will provide humanity
with the widest range of options for adapting to changing conditions. Clear government policy frameworks are needed that support
alliances among the many interest groups involved in forest biodiversity.
In the past, the conservation of biodiversity has been mostly understood in terms of the management of protected areas and
natural forests, ignoring the possible role of farm areas and the ways through which rural communities have promoted biodiversity
in their subsistence agricultural production systems. The present study focused on the floristic diversity within traditional
agroforestry parkland systems around the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve in Benin and showed the diversity of tree species in the
area as well as socio-economic factors which affect the practice of this farming system. We used questionnaires and interviewed
a total of 118 households to collect data. Respondents were interviewed on their farms and during the interview; we inventoried
the number of tree on the farm and determined the farm size. Twenty-one tree species belonging to 14 botanical families were
recorded during the surveys and the average stand density of the woody component of farmlands was 7.97±5.43 stems/ha. A
number of both native and exotic tree species occurred in the parkland agroforestry systems with dominance of indigenous tree
species. Species richness varied with the size of household where households with small land holding conserve more tree species
in their field than households with large land holdings. 64% of households surveyed were making deliberate efforts to plant
tree species on their farmlands. The most important reasons which determined household ambitions to conserve woody species
on farmland were tree products contribution to food and medicine. Results also showed that respondents who noticed that trees
were decreasing in the wild conserve more tree species on their farmlands. This research highlights the role of traditional
agroforestry practices to support tree species richness and provides evidence of the farms’ role as biodiversity reservoirs.
KeywordsConservation indigenous species–Parkland agroforestry–Socio-economic factors
Women’s Traditional Knowledge, Use Value, and the Contribution of Tamarind (
L.) to Rural Households’ Cash Income in Benin. This study examined differences in knowledge, use values, and contribution of tamarind (Tamarindus indica) to women’s cash income during the dry season, focusing on seven tribal groups in Benin. Data were gathered using semistructured individual interviews and monitoring, and were analyzed using quantitative ethnobotanical methods. Principal component analysis was applied to describe the use value and use forms of tamarind according to different tribes. Tamarind was found to play an important role in local communities’ livelihoods. Overall, 26 different uses were mentioned for tamarind products. Most commonly, the fruit (pulp) was used to make beverages, as a laxative and purgative, and it seems to be the only plant part sold commercially. Bark was frequently used as a medicine to treat wounds, and leaves were used to make porridge and as an antibiotic. Medicinal, cultural, and material use categories were correlated best with the Fulani, whereas commerce was most correlated with Gourma tribes (PCA analysis). There were significant differences for tamarind utilization among the tribal groups, with overall ethnobotanical use values (EUVT) ranging from 10 to 14, and contribution to cash income ranging from 8.8% to 56.4%. In view of its domestication potential, it is crucial that traditional tribal knowledge of tamarind be preserved and integrated into management policies. Further development and research needs for utilization and conservation are improvement of commercialization, organization of market channels, and extent of genetic diversity within and among populations.
We analyzed the phenotypic variation of baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) fruits from Mali to define the domestication potential of this species. 269 trees, selected from 10 provenances distributed
along a rainfall gradient, were characterized. Five fruits were sampled from each tree. Total individual fruit weight was
partitioned into shell, pulp, and seed weight. Ratios were calculated between pulp+seed and total weight, and between pulp
and seed weight. For all the measured fruit traits, we detected significant differences between provenances, as well as between
trees from the same provenance. Assuming that the measured traits are under genetic control, the latter facts indicate that
there are considerable opportunities for tree selection on a local scale. However, candidate plus trees with specific properties,
e.g., extremely high pulp or seed weight, were found only in some locations. Mean pulp yield per fruit might be considerably
increased by selecting the 5% trees with the highest pulp weight (mean: 45±1g, best 5%: >100g). The same might be true
for seed production (mean: 71±2g, best 5%: >150g). Also the ratio between pulp and seed weight can be an important fruit
characteristic for selection: in fruits with a low ratio, relatively more pulp sticks to the seeds when separating the two
fruit parts by grinding, and thus more pulp will be lost for further processing. We identified several trees with a high pulp
weight combined with a high ratio between pulp and seed weight. It is concluded that there is considerable phenotypic variability
in traits of baobab fruit in Mali, offering opportunities for cultivar selection.
KeywordsDomestication–Indigenous fruit trees–Parklands–Tree products
The tree species diversity and population structure were studied in four stands of the tropical forests in the north-central Eastern Ghats, based on tree inventories conducted on four 1-ha plots. In the four independent plots, two 5 x 1000 m transects were established and all trees with ≥ 15 cm girth at breast height were enumerated. The density, frequency, basal area and IVI along with diversity indices viz. Shannon index, species richness, equitability and species dominance were computed to see the variation in tree community. A total of 92 species representing 73 genera under 40 families of angiosperms were recorded. Tree species richness was as low as 34 species per hectare plot in Geddapalli to as high as 48 species in Koruturu. Tree density ranged from 360 stems per hectare in plot Geddapalli to 526 stems in plot Chintapalli and that of total basal area from 16.31 m2 ha-1 in Koruturu to 31.15 m2 ha-1 in Chintapalli. The number of species and stems decreased from the smaller to the largest girth classes. The tree inventories of the study area when compared to those of the other tropical forests showed great differences in density and basal area. This may probably be due to differences in geography and annual rainfall patterns. The information on tree species structure and function can provide baseline information for conservation of the biodiversity.
Human‐modified systems come as innovative ones necessary to be more understood to attain biodiversity conservation goals. This study aimed to assess the effect of human disturbance on the population structure of Pterocarpus erinaceus in different land use types (Highly protected area, Moderately protected area and Non‐protected area) in Sudanian savannahs of Togo. Data were collected in forty randomly set plots (50 m × 30 m) within each land use type. Population structure parameters and leaf and leaflet morphological traits were evaluated and compared among the land use types by performing different statistical analyses. Results showed an adverse effect of human disturbance on adult and juveniles densities as well as the total height (significant difference between highly protected and non‐protected areas; p < 0.001). Diameter class structures revealed in the three land use types an inverted J‐shape indicating the predominance of young individuals. Significantly greater (p < 0.001) values of leaflet length were observed in the non‐protected area compared to highly protected one. The human‐mediated area impacted the diameter‐height relation and the one among assessed leaf and leaflet traits. These findings are tools to be incorporated in new policy development for the future management of this tree species population.
Les systèmes modifiés par les hommes sont des systèmes nouveaux qu'il faut mieux comprendre afin d'atteindre les objectifs de conservation de la biodiversité. Cette étude visait à évaluer l'effet de perturbations humaines sur la structure de populations de Pterocarpus erinaceus dans différents types d'utilisation des (zone très protégée, moyennement protégée et non protégée) dans des savanes soudaniennes du Togo. Des données furent récoltées dans des 40 parcelles de 50 m x 30 m installées de façon aléatoire dans chaque type d'utilisation des terres Les paramètres de la structure des populations et les caractéristiques morphologiques des feuilles et folioles ont été évalués et comparés selon les types d'utilisation des terres en faisant différentes analyses statistiques.Les résultats ont montré un effet négatif des perturbations humaines sur la densité des jeunes et des adultes ainsi que sur la hauteur totale (différence significative entre parcelle très protégée et non protégée : P<0,001). La structure des classes de diamètre a révélé dans les trois types d'utilisation des terres une forme en J renversé qui indique la prédominance de jeunes individus. Des valeurs significativement plus grandes (P<0,001) de la longueur des folioles ont été observées dans la zone non protégée que dans la zone très protégée. La zone impactée par les hommes influence la relation diamètre‐hauteur et celle entre les caractéristiques évaluées des feuilles petites et grandes. Ces résultats sont de nouveaux outils qu'il faut intégrer dans les nouvelles politiques de développpement pour la gestion future des populations de cette espèce d'arbre.
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.
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. Forty-five useful woody species belonging to 21 families dominated by Leguminosae (24.44%) and Anacardiaceae (8.88%) were reported. The forty-five species were categorized in 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: Adansonia digitata, Parkia biglobosa, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Irvingia gabonensis, Milicia excelsa, Tamarindus indica, Vitex doniana, Prosopis africana, Diospyros mespiliformis and Pterocarpus santalinoides. 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.
In this chapter, you will find information about (a) the problem of vegetation sampling regarding methods, criteria, and plant measurements; (b) the phytosociological parameters commonly used to describe communities; (c) the similarity and distance indices employed and the means of their estimation; and (d) recommendations on the use of different indices in ethnobotanical studies.
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
In the West African Sudanian regions, people depend on natural products, especially on highly valued species as source of income, fuel wood, food, medicine, fodder for livestock etc. However, land-use management coupled with unsustainable uses of highly valued trees might jeopardize the long-term viability of some species’ populations. Thus, we compared the population structures of two trees, Afzelia africana and Pterocarpus erinaceus and the extent of bark and foliage harvesting within two contrasting land-use types using a random stratified design with 45 replication plots for each species. For both species, population structures were stable in the protected area whereas they showed a declining structure in the agroforestry parklands with lower densities of seedlings and adults as well as a total lack of saplings and young mature trees. In addition, both specieswere over-exploited. More individuals of A. africana and P. erinaceus were harvested with a weak to severe intensity in the parklands, while only few individuals were harvested in the protected area, with a higher proportion of weak to medium intensity. To ensure conservation of these highly valued species, participatory introduction of juveniles and sensitization for seedling protection are required in the agroforestry parklands.
The use of a surrogate taxon in conservation planning has become questionable because recent evidence suggests that the correlation of species richness between pairs of taxa is highly variable both taxonomically and geographically. Species richness is only one measure of species diversity, bowever, and recent studies suggest that investigations of cross-taxon congruence should consider a broader range of assessment techniques. The cross-taxon congruence of community similarity between sites among taxa has rarely been examined and may be the most relevant measure of species diversity in the context of course-filter conservation strategies. We examined cross-taxon congruence patterns of species richness and community similarity (Bray-Curtis similarity) among birds, butterflies, and vascular plants in montane meadow habitats in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Although patterns of species richness (Spearman rank correlation) varied between taxa, we consistently found a positive correlation in community similarity (Mantel test) between all pair-wise comparisons of the three taxa (e.g., sites with similar bird communities also bad similar butterfly communities). We suggest that the success of a surrogate taxon depends on the technique used to assess surrogacy and the specific approach to conservation planning. In the context of coarse-filter conservation, measures of community similarity may be more appropriate than measures of species richness. Furthermore, the cross-taxon congruency of community similarity in our study suggests that coarse-filter conservation may be tenable in montane meadow communities.
Wild edible trees are expected to play a significant role in the crop diversification programs and agroforestry development in Africa. In the present study, the diversity of wild food species and socio-economical factors that support farmers' choice for the species used in these systems were assessed. A number of selected sites in each of the 3 climatic zones of Benin were surveyed. Data were collected through a field exploration and a semi-structured survey among 435 selected households throughout the country, using a questionnaire. The most culturally important species ranked by locals were determined for each climatic zone and the relations between the targeted species in traditional agroforestry systems and the reasons which support peasants' choices were described through a Principal Component Analysis. A total of 43 wild edible trees were found in the traditional agroforestry systems of Benin during the survey. Traditional agroforestry systems in the Guineo-Congolian zone turned out to be the most diversified with 29 species followed by the Sudanian zone with 22 species and Sudano-Guinean zone with 16 species. The most culturally important wild edible trees in traditional agroforestry systems in the Guineo-Congolian zone were different from those identified in Sudanian and Sudano-Guinean zones. Three main reasons that support peasants' ambition to conserve or to grow wild edible trees in their field were: their contribution to food, their use in traditional medicine and ceremonies and the farmers' perception of their availability in natural vegetation.
A fire-mediated recruitment bottleneck provides a possible explanation for the coexistence of trees and grasses in mesic savannas. The key element of this hypothesis is that saplings are particularly vulnerable to fire because they are small enough to be top-killed by grass fires, but unlike juveniles, they take several years to recover their original size. This limits the number of recruits into the adult size classes. Thus savanna vegetation may be maintained by a feedback whereby fire restricts the density of adult trees and allows a grass layer to develop, which provides fuel for subsequent fires. Here, we use results from a landscape-scale fire experiment in tropical Australia, to explore the possible existence of a recruitment bottleneck. This experiment compared tree recruitment and survival over 4 y under regimes of no fire, annual early and annual late dry-season fire. Stem mortality decreased with increasing stem height in the fire treatments but not in the unburnt treatment. Tree recruitment was 76-84% lower in the fire treatments than the unburnt treatment. Such fire-induced stem loss of saplings and reduced recruitment to the canopy layer in this eucalypt savanna are consistent with the predictions of the fire-mediated recruitment bottleneck hypothesis.
The phenology of seven indigenous tree species was investigated in a dry Afromontane forest of Ethiopia over two years. About 210 mature trees were monitored for leaf fall, leaf flush, flowering and fruiting. The different phenophase events were correlated with climate variables and circular statistics was employed to test for seasonality. Leaf fall and leaf flush peaked during the long dry season. Leaf fall significantly correlated with mean monthly temperatures. Flowering was predominantly annual and seasonal. Most species flowered during the dry season between November and May. Flowering was temporally discordant among the species, which is interpreted as a kind of adaptation avoiding interspecific overlap and thus competition for pollinators. Unlike flowering, fruiting was less seasonal and trees bore fruits over extended periods of the year. Following flowering, fruiting peaked later in the dry season or the beginning of the rainy season. Both flowering and fruiting phenology of the study species were strongly influenced by temperature and rainfall. However, leaf phenology was influenced by temperature.
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) strongly contribute to livelihood security in the semi-arid tropics. There is increasing concern about the population status of NTFP-providing trees and therefore a need for their sustainable use. Thus, this study examines the impact of land-use type on the multipurpose baobab tree (Adansonia digitata L.) in Burkina Faso, combined with rates and patterns of bark- and leaf-harvesting, and their impact on fruit production. We compared stands in a protected area (W National Park of Burkina Faso) with those of surrounding communal area (fallows, croplands and villages) to obtain an indication on the status of the baobab population, to assess its harvesting tolerance and to estimate to what extent their actual use is sustainable. Our results reveal that land-use type has an impact on the population structure of the baobab. The size class distribution curve of park stands was inverse J-shape which indicates good rejuvenation, while the curve of fallows, croplands and villages stands was bell-shaped, indicating a lack of recruitment. However, a high number of seedlings were recorded in villages. Nearly all baobabs were pruned and debarked in villages, croplands and fallows while half of the individuals were harvested in the park. Most of the trees were pruned and debarked moderately. Debarking and pruning were slightly size specific. Pruning in interaction with tree-size had a significant impact on fruit production. In contrast, debarking had no effect on fruit production. We conclude that despite the land-use impact and the intense harvesting, baobabs are still well preserved in the communal area due to their longevity, extremely low adult mortality rates and traditional management practices. However, land-use intensifications may lead to increasing pressure on baobab populations in the future. Therefore, adapted management strategies are needed to guarantee the persistence of this important species and to avoid a shortage of baobab products.Research highlights▶ Population structure of A. digitata differed between park and its surrounding area. ▶ Pruning and debarking was slightly size specific. ▶ Pruning had an effect on reproductive performances of A. digitata. ▶ No significant effects were found for debarking or combined debarking and pruning. ▶ Despite the strong harvesting, baobabs are still well preserved.