References of "Doucet, Jean-Louis"
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See detailWill Elephants Soon Disappear from West African Savannahs?
Bouché, Philippe ULg; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Wittemyer, George et al

in PLoS ONE (2011), 6(6),

Precipitous declines in Africa’s native fauna and flora are recognized, but few comprehensive records of these changes have been compiled. Here, we present population trends for African elephants in the 6 ... [more ▼]

Precipitous declines in Africa’s native fauna and flora are recognized, but few comprehensive records of these changes have been compiled. Here, we present population trends for African elephants in the 6,213,000 km2 Sudano-Sahelian range of West and Central Africa assessed through the analysis of aerial and ground surveys conducted over the past 4 decades. These surveys are focused on the best protected areas in the region, and therefore represent the best case scenario for the northern savanna elephants. A minimum of 7,745 elephants currently inhabit the entire region, representing a minimum decline of 50% from estimates four decades ago for these protected areas. Most of the historic range is now devoid of elephants and, therefore, was not surveyed. Of the 23 surveyed elephant populations, half are estimated to number less than 200 individuals. Historically, most populations numbering less than 200 individuals in the region were extirpated within a few decades. Declines differed by region, with Central African populations experiencing much higher declines (276%) than those in West Africa (233%). As a result, elephants in West Africa now account for 86% of the total surveyed. Range wide, two refuge zones retain elephants, one in West and the other in Central Africa. These zones are separated by a large distance (,900 km) of high density human land use, suggesting connectivity between the regions is permanently cut. Within each zone, however, sporadic contacts between populations remain. Retaining such connectivity should be a high priority for conservation of elephants in this region. Specific corridors designed to reduce the isolation of the surveyed populations are proposed. The strong commitment of governments, effective law enforcement to control the illegal ivory trade and the involvement of local communities and private partners are all critical to securing the future of elephants inhabiting Africa’s northern savannas. [less ▲]

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See detailPotentialities of using ASTER & SRTM DEM for road planning in Central African sustainable forest logging context. A case study in East Gabon
Philippart, Julien ULg; Handerek, Daphné ULg; Lejeune, Philippe ULg et al

Poster (2011, June 02)

Slope is the main constraint for sustainable forest road planning in Central Africa. Remote sensing now provides free and downloadable Data Elevation Model (DEM) covering most of appeared lands. In this ... [more ▼]

Slope is the main constraint for sustainable forest road planning in Central Africa. Remote sensing now provides free and downloadable Data Elevation Model (DEM) covering most of appeared lands. In this study, we evaluate potentialities and limitations of Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) DEMs, derived from radar interferometry and Advanced Spaceborn Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) DEMs, themselves derived from digital photogrammetry for slope evaluation. Assessment is presented for hilly (Milole) and flat (Okondja) areas. Three elevation maps were derived from initial ASTER 30-m and SRTM 90-m DEMs : a SRTM 30-m resampled from SRTM 90-m and two ASTER 30-m where absurd values (artifacts) were corrected with SRTM 90-m and resampled SRTM 30-m respectively. We qualitatively and quantitatively assess the accuracy of all elevation maps compared to 992 (698) slope measures on field along transects of 10.5 (7.5) km in Milolé (Okondja). We estimated root mean square error (RMSE) for slope estimation at 7.8 (10.7), 8.1 (10.1), 11.7 (11.2), 10.1 (11.2) and, 9.3° (11.0°) for SRTM 90-m, SRTM 30-m, ASTER 30-m, ASTER 30-m CORR 90 and ASTER 30-m CORR 30 respectively in Milolé (Okondja). We also use a classification error matrix to assess Global Accuracy (GA) and User’s Accuracy (UA) of elevation maps by classifying ground slopes in two categories: lower or equal and higher than maximum slope limitation of 12% (30%) for primary (secondary) roads. All DEMs show a greater GA in hilly area (Milolé) than in flat area (Okondja) and SRTM derived DEMs show a higher UA for secondary roads constraint. UA for the lower or equal category varies between 55.5 and 75.2% (63.9 and 91.7%) for primary (secondary) roads. The use of corrected aster DEMs increases initial ASTER UA from 0.1 to 18.8% depending on category and slope limitation. Despite a relatively high RMSE for slope grade, all of the DEMs tested were found to be consistent for consideration of maximum slope constraint aiming at sustainable road planning for forest logging in Central Africa. [less ▲]

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See detailLe Noisetier d'Afrique (Coula edulis Baill.). Un produit forestier non ligneux méconnu
Moupela, Christian ULg; Vermeulen, Cédric ULg; Daïnou, Kasso ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2011), 15(3), 485-495

Non-timber forest product (NTFP) are of significant nutritional, economic and cultural importance for the people of central Africa. However, many products have not yet been the subject of scientific ... [more ▼]

Non-timber forest product (NTFP) are of significant nutritional, economic and cultural importance for the people of central Africa. However, many products have not yet been the subject of scientific studies; such is the case of Coula edulis. Although very little is known about this species, it has many uses and its fruits are regulary eaten and marketed by various communities. Cultivation of this tree species remains however very limited, mainly because of the low germination potentiel of its seeds. Its wood, renowned for its termite resistance, is used locally for construction. Mechanical tests conducted on the timber have put its technological aptitudes to the fore; it has indeed the potential to become one of the most sought-after commercial species. As in the future, Coula edulis could be managed for its wood as well as its non-timber forest product, in-depth studies aiming at the sustainable development of this natural ressource need to be implemented. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and characterization of microsatellite loci in Pericopsis elata (Fabaceae) using a cost-efficient approach
Micheneau, Claire; Dauby, Gilles; Bourland, Nils ULg et al

in American Journal of Botany (2011)

Premise of the study : Microsatellite loci were developed in the endangered Pericopsis elata using a combination of low-cost procedures. Methods and Results : Microsatellite isolation was performed ... [more ▼]

Premise of the study : Microsatellite loci were developed in the endangered Pericopsis elata using a combination of low-cost procedures. Methods and Results : Microsatellite isolation was performed simultaneously on three distinct species through a newly available procedure that associates multiplex microsatellite enrichment and next-generation sequencing, allowing the rapid and low-cost development of microsatellite-enriched libraries through the use of a 1/32nd GS-FLX plate. Genotyping using M13-like label- ing in multiplexed reactions allowed additional cost savings. From 72 primers selected for initial screening, 21 positively amplified P. elata , and 11 showed polymorphism with two to 11 alleles per locus and a mean value of 5.4 alleles per locus. Conclusions : These microsatellite loci will be useful to further investigate the level of genetic variation within and between natural populations of P. elata in Africa. [less ▲]

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See detailSeed dispersal by western lowland gorillas (G. g. gorilla) in south east Cameroon
Petre, Charles-Albert ULg; Tagg, Nikki; Beudels-Jamar, Roseline et al

Poster (2011)

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See detailEtat actuel de la sécondarisation de la forêt en périphérie nord de la Réserve de biosphère du Dja (Sud-est Cameroun) : influences des facteurs anthropiques passés et des éléphants
Nguenang, Guy-Merlin; Nkongmeneck, Bernard Aloys; Gillet, Jean-François et al

in International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences (2011)

Plusieurs études récentes révèlent une proportion importante de formations secondaires au sein des forêts tropicales africaines. La présente étude a pour but, de caractériser les différents faciès de ... [more ▼]

Plusieurs études récentes révèlent une proportion importante de formations secondaires au sein des forêts tropicales africaines. La présente étude a pour but, de caractériser les différents faciès de végétation de la forêt du Dja (Sud-est Cameroun) en ressortant l’état et les causes de sa secondarisation. L’étude a été menée dans deux sites en périphérie nord de la Réserve de biosphère du Dja, l’un situé hors de la Réserve (Mimpala) et l’autre à l’intérieur (Dingué). Un total de 104 km de transects a été parcouru. La caractérisation de la végétation a été faite le long de transects en relevant les différents faciès de végétation traversés. Les marques visibles d’anciennes présences humaines et les réseaux de pistes d’éléphants rencontrés ont été comptabilisés. Les chiffres révèlent une prédominance des formations secondarisées aussi bien dans le site situé à l’extérieur de la Réserve, que dans celui se trouvant dans la Réserve: soit respectivement 52% et 58%. Notre étude permet de montrer que l’état actuel de la secondarisation de la forêt du Dja est fortement lié à l’action anthropique traditionnelle dans un passé plus ou moins récent et à celle des éléphants. [less ▲]

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See detailDetecting large-scale diversity patterns in tropical trees: can we trust commercial forest inventories?
Réjou-Méchain, Maxime; Fayolle, Adeline ULg; Nasi, Robert et al

in Forest Ecology & Management (2011), 261(2), 187-194

In this paper we seek to identify the floristic determination biases contained in large-scale commercial inventories conducted by logging companies and to determine whether this impacts on the observed ... [more ▼]

In this paper we seek to identify the floristic determination biases contained in large-scale commercial inventories conducted by logging companies and to determine whether this impacts on the observed patterns of alpha and beta diversity. The study focused on floristic data recently collected by industrial timber companies in the tropical forests of the Central African Republic (28,229 0.5-ha plots spread over 14,000km2). A subset of these plots (n = 1107) was later re-sampled for controlling purposes by experienced botanists. The proportion of agreement between the two samplings was assessed for each species and independently for small and large trees, and at genus and family resolutions. Unsurprisingly, large trees and common species were more accurately identified than small trees and rare species. We found that the quality of the floristic determination increased slightly from species to families. We also detected a significant variation between concessions in the quality of the floristic determination that was more dependent on working conditions during forest inventories than on field workers. Contrary to a widespread belief, we did not find a strong bias toward commercial species, showing that commercial inventory data could also be valid for non-commercial species in ecological studies. Finally, we found that both alpha and beta diversity patterns in commercial inventories were highly consistent with those of the re-sampled inventory. This latter result shows that commercial inventories are well suited to detect large-scale patterns of floristic variation. Large-scale commercial inventories could thus play an important role in the identification of large-scale patterns in tropical tree diversity. This could enhance our ability to manage tropical forests by designing representative reserve networks and developing management plans that integrate diversity patterns at the landscape scale. [less ▲]

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See detailEnjeux fonciers, exploitation des ressources naturelles et Forêts des Communautés Locales en périphérie de Kinshasa, RDC
Vermeulen, Cédric ULg; Dubiez, Emilien; Procès, Pierre et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2011), 15(4), 535-544

Peri-urban forests are under strong anthropic pressure. Any activity needs a previous identification of stakeholders, landscape perception, socio-economic trends in local communities and their ... [more ▼]

Peri-urban forests are under strong anthropic pressure. Any activity needs a previous identification of stakeholders, landscape perception, socio-economic trends in local communities and their relationships with land and natural resources. Kinshasa (capital of Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC) is a 10 millions inhabitants city with rapid growth and increasing impacts on surrounding villages linked with forest natural resources. This paper describes the relationship amongst local communities stakeholders and their relations with land areas and wood resources. Two areas surrounding Kinshasa (Bas-Congo and Bateke Plateaux) are considered as major fuel-wood and charcoal supply zones for the city. Those two areas are different in terms of land pressure (very high in Bas-Congo and focused on riparian forests on Bateke Plateaux), but show the same pattern of overuse of the forest and woody natural resources. In both areas, local management of forest resources by the traditional authorities (heads of village or lineage) has failed. Local population willingness for reforestation and forest restoration activities is much more important in Bas-Congo than on Bateke Plateaux. In both areas, shifting cultivation due to slash and burn practices for agricultural and charcoal practices are more and more quick. This has strong negative impact on the potential of regeneration process with local forest species. Sustainability of forest natural resources management by communities is discussed in regard to the on going negotiations on community based forest management regulations. [less ▲]

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See detailPredicting alpha diversity of African rain forests: models based on climate and satellite-derived data do not perform better than a purely spatial model
Parmentier, Ingrid; Harrigan, Ryan J.; Buermann, Wolfgang et al

in Journal of Biogeography (2011), 38(6), 1164-1176

Aim Our aim was to evaluate the extent to which we can predict and map tree alpha diversity across broad spatial scales either by using climate and remote sensing data or by exploiting spatial ... [more ▼]

Aim Our aim was to evaluate the extent to which we can predict and map tree alpha diversity across broad spatial scales either by using climate and remote sensing data or by exploiting spatial autocorrelation patterns. Location Tropical rain forest, West Africa and Atlantic Central Africa. Methods Alpha diversity estimates were compiled for trees with diameter at breast height ‡ 10 cm in 573 inventory plots. Linear regression (ordinary least squares, OLS) and random forest (RF) statistical techniques were used to project alpha diversity estimates at unsampled locations using climate data and remote sensing data [Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), Quick Scatterometer (QSCAT), tree cover, elevation]. The prediction reliabilities of OLS and RF models were evaluated using a novel approach and compared to that of a kriging model based on geographic location alone. Results The predictive power of the kriging model was comparable to that of OLS and RF models based on climatic and remote sensing data. The three models provided congruent predictions of alpha diversity in well-sampled areas but not in poorly inventoried locations. The reliability of the predictions of all three models declined markedly with distance from points with inventory data, becoming very low at distances > 50 km. According to inventory data, Atlantic Central African forests display a higher mean alpha diversity than do West African forests. Main conclusions The lower tree alpha diversity in West Africa than in Atlantic Central Africa may reflect a richer regional species pool in the latter. Our results emphasize and illustrate the need to test model predictions in a spatially explicit manner. Good OLS or RF model predictions from inventory data at short distance largely result from the strong spatial autocorrelation displayed by both the alpha diversity and the predictive variables rather than necessarily from causal relationships. Our results suggest that alpha diversity is driven by history rather than by the contemporary environment. Given the low predictive power of models, we call for a major effort to broaden the geographical extent and intensity of forest assessments to expand our knowledge of African rain forest diversity. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatial aggregation of tropical trees at multiple spatial scales
Réjou-Méchain, Maxime; Flores, Olivier; Bourland, Nils ULg et al

in Journal of Ecology (2011), 99

1. In tropical forests, species distribution patterns may be strongly context-dependent owing to local stochasticity of recruitment and⁄ or to the specific history and environment of each site. Recent ... [more ▼]

1. In tropical forests, species distribution patterns may be strongly context-dependent owing to local stochasticity of recruitment and⁄ or to the specific history and environment of each site. Recent studies have reported, however, that the degree of spatial aggregation of tropical tree species is partly determined by some species traits irrespectively of site conditions, at least at a very local scale (<200 m). 2. Here, we used standardized large-scale forest inventories of five Central African tropical forests (9670 0.5-ha plots spread over 5550 km2) to quantify the spatial aggregation of 106 tropical tree species at larger spatial scales. For this purpose, we developed a new statistic to quantify the respective contributions of different spatial scales to the aggregation patterns, and we tested whether patterns were consistent across sites. We finally asked whether species characteristics related to dispersal ability, to response to disturbances and to biogeographical range could significantly explain aggregation patterns. 3. Although aggregation patterns varied substantially among sites within each species, they displayed inter-site consistencies (21–24%of the total variance explained by species identity) at the local scale (0.2–1 km) and at the mesoscale (1–10 km) but not at the landscape scale (>10 km). At the two former scales, upper taxonomical levels (family and⁄or order) significantly explained variation in the degree of species aggregation, while at the landscape scale, aggregation was entirely contingent on the site considered. Few species characteristics, except dispersal syndromes and wood density, were able to significantly explain aggregation patterns. 4. Synthesis. One of our most striking results is the high context dependence of species aggregation patterns, whatever the spatial scale considered. However, we showed that species distribution patterns can be predicted, to an extent, at spatial scales much larger than previously investigated in this context. Such patterns may be explained by traits displaying phylogenetic conservatism [less ▲]

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See detailThe first community forests of Gabon : towards sustainable local forest management ?
Meunier, Quentin ULg; Federspiel, Michèle; Moumbogou, Carl et al

in Nature et Faune (2011), 25(2), 40-45

Forest resources abound in Gabon. Species diversity and quality of trees in the Gabonese forests make it a very lucrative production niche. Even though international forest operators are well established ... [more ▼]

Forest resources abound in Gabon. Species diversity and quality of trees in the Gabonese forests make it a very lucrative production niche. Even though international forest operators are well established there and are making profit, the Gabonese rural communities have not yet developed their own operations. In view of their remoteness from decision-making centers, villagers often unlawfully lose, without being aware of it, a great deal of the riches in their villages. Today, the rural socio-economic component is not sufficiently integrated in the management factors of the resource, even though populations that depend on them daily are supposedly the best placed individuals to make wise use of them. In this sense, community forestry helps to promote sustainable use of forest resources at a scale that is at par with the needs of the community, and seeks to guarantee that profits are shared at village level. In Gabon, the process of legalization of community forests is ongoing since 2001. Pilot projects such as DACEFI (Development of Community Alternatives to Illegal Logging) strive to assist communities in securing their community forest. However their legalization is slow in coming, while logging activities in the rural forest estate are increasing, and the quality of the species is deteriorating continually. [less ▲]

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See detailHousehold bushmeat consumption in Brazzaville, the Republic of the Congo.
Mbete, Roger Albert; Banga-Mboko, Henri; Racey, Paul et al

in Tropical Conservation Science (2011), 4(2), 187-202

Wildlife meat is an important source of animal protein for rural and urban populations in Congo. Quantitative and qualitative surveys on the consumption of bushmeat were undertaken in Brazzaville in 2006 ... [more ▼]

Wildlife meat is an important source of animal protein for rural and urban populations in Congo. Quantitative and qualitative surveys on the consumption of bushmeat were undertaken in Brazzaville in 2006, in about 1,050 urban households. The main objective was to establish the profiles of consumers and of species concerned. The results showed that 88.3% of the surveyed households consumed bushmeat. Their average size was 5.7 ± 3.2 persons. The average monthly income of an urban consumer with a permanent job was 98,334 (US$197) ± 84,306 (US$169) FCFA. It appeared that households preferred to consume bushmeat for two major reasons: the taste or flavor (67.8%) and food habits (14.7%). Meat from mammals was preferred, the top three orders of this class being artiodactyls (48.3%), rodents (28.3%), and primates (13.0%). Some of them are listed as threatened in Congo Brazzaville and are included in the IUCN Red List. The results showed that in Brazzaville, bushmeat consumption remains important and is determined by socio-economic parameters. The promotion of game farming, and breeding of domestic species such as poultry and fish, in the Brazzaville suburbs could help to meet Congolese demand for bushmeat. [less ▲]

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See detailSoil seed bank characteristics in Cameroonian rainforests and implications for post-logging recovery
Daïnou, Kasso ULg; Bauduin, Aline ULg; Bourland, Nils ULg et al

in Ecological Engineering (2011)

The soil seed bank is considered as an important component for resilience of climacic vegetation. No investigation has ever been conducted in Central African rainforests regarding this topic. We studied ... [more ▼]

The soil seed bank is considered as an important component for resilience of climacic vegetation. No investigation has ever been conducted in Central African rainforests regarding this topic. We studied the soil seed bank characteristics in relation to the standing vegetation in three Cameroonian forest zones with different disturbance regimes. There was no significant difference between sites in terms of density of the seed bank. But dissimilarities of the floristic compositions between sites were high. Overall, seeds came from 43 species including three commercial tree species. Whereas the seedlings emerging from soil samples mostly came from weedy and short-lived pioneer species, climax species predominated in the extant vegetation, leading to a very weak similarity between soil seed flora and the surrounding vegetation. Canopy openness could significantly affect the species richness of soil seed stocks but not the seed density. These results show that the soil seed bank contribution to the resilience of mature tropical forests is low. In particular, very few timber tree species could benefit from soil seed stocks for their regeneration. Therefore, the development of enrichment techniques including use of the soil seed bank as a source of tree regeneration in such a context would be irrelevant. [less ▲]

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See detailDes forêts africaines à gérer durablement
Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg; Vermeulen, Cédric ULg

in Journal des Ingénieurs (Le) (2011), (132), 18-21

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See detailPopulation history and gene dispersal inferred from spatial genetic structure of a Central African timber tree, Distemonanthus benthamianus (Caesalpinioideae)
Debout, G. D. G.; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg; Hardy, O. J.

in Heredity (2011), 106

African rainforests have undergone major distribution range shifts during the Quaternary, but few studies have investigated their impact on the genetic diversity of plant species and we lack knowledge on ... [more ▼]

African rainforests have undergone major distribution range shifts during the Quaternary, but few studies have investigated their impact on the genetic diversity of plant species and we lack knowledge on the extent of gene flow to predict how plant species can cope with such environmental changes. Analysis of the spatial genetic structure (SGS) of a species is an effective method to determine major directions of the demographic history of its populations and to estimate the extent of gene dispersal. This study characterises the SGS of an African tropical timber tree species, Distemonanthus benthamianus, at various spatial scales in Cameroon and Gabon. Displaying a large continuous distribution in the Lower Guinea domain, this is a model species to detect signs of past population fragmentation and recolonization, and to estimate the extent of gene dispersal. Ten microsatellite loci were used to genotype 295 adult trees sampled from eight populations. Three clearly differentiated gene pools were resolved at this regional scale and could be linked to the biogeographical history of the region, rather than to physical barriers to gene flow. A comparison with the distribution of gene pools observed for two other tree species living in the same region invalidates the basic assumption that all species share the same Quaternary refuges and recolonization pathways. In four populations, significant and similar patterns of SGS were detected. Indirect estimates of gene dispersal distances (sigma) obtained for three populations ranged from 400 to 1200m, whereas neighbourhood size estimates ranged from 50 to 110. [less ▲]

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See detailLes taux de reconstitution, un outil pour les gestionnaires forestiers dans le bassin du Congo
Bayol, Nicolas; Cassagne, Bernard; Billand, Alain et al

in Lettre de l'ATIBT (La) (2010), 32

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See detailPericopsis elata (Harms) Meeuwen in southeastern Cameroon: ecological and pedological approaches to improve the management of an endangered commercial timber species
Bourland, Nils ULg; Kouadio, Yao Lambert; Colinet, Gilles ULg et al

in International Forestry Review (2010), 12(5), 111

Pericopsis elata (gregarious Fabaceae), a moist semi-deciduous hardwood logged in Central African forests, is on the IUCN Red List and in CITES Appendix II. Our study evaluated its main ecological and ... [more ▼]

Pericopsis elata (gregarious Fabaceae), a moist semi-deciduous hardwood logged in Central African forests, is on the IUCN Red List and in CITES Appendix II. Our study evaluated its main ecological and pedological parameters in Cameroon. We obtained a mean diameter increment of 0.32 ± 0.04 cm.year–1. Minimum fertile and effective fruiting diameters were 32 and 35 cm, respectively. Flowering started in March-April, and fruits ripened over 7 months. Seed rain was studied in 1 × 45 m cleared corridors in each cardinal direction around 4 isolated mother trees. Indehiscent pods (average weight: 131.6 ± 10.1 cg) were dispersed mainly to the west: 86% of the variation of the number of collected fruits could be explained by the distance to the mother tree and the direction (GLM analysis, p < 0.001). The proportion of seeds eaten by insect larvae depended on the mother tree (10–95% – χ2 test, p < 0.001). Soils were compared at a regional scale: soils with P. elata contain higher levels of C (2.2 ± 0.5 SD- g.100g–1), Fe (261 ± 83 mg.kg–1), and P (33 ± 10 mg.kg–1), and were more acidic (pH 4.0 ± 0.2). A planting method in logging gaps is currently being tested taking into account physicochemical soil parameters [less ▲]

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