References of "Daïnou, Kasso"
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See detailNew data on the recent history of the littoral forests of southern Cameroon: an insight into the role of historical human disturbances on the current forest composition
Biwolé, Achille ULg; Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Fayolle, Adeline ULg et al

in Plant Ecology and Evolution (in press)

Background and aims – Prior to European colonisation of Central Africa, human populations were dispersed through the forests, where they practiced slash-and-burn cultivation. From the 19th century they ... [more ▼]

Background and aims – Prior to European colonisation of Central Africa, human populations were dispersed through the forests, where they practiced slash-and-burn cultivation. From the 19th century they were progressively concentrated in villages along roads, leaving large areas of forest derelict. In south-western Cameroon, and elsewhere in Central Africa, forest canopy is dominated by long-lived lightdemanding tree species, suggesting a possible role of human disturbance. The aim of this study was to bring new insights into the possible effect of historical human disturbances in terms of timing and spatial extent on the current forest composition. Location – Wet evergreen littoral forest in south-western Cameroon. Methods and key results – A combined vegetation sampling and archaeobotanical survey were conducted. Potsherds, oil-palm endocarps, and charcoal were found throughout the study area, suggesting generalised human occupation and anthropogenic fire. Human occupancy occurred in two periods: between 2200 and 1500 BP, and, more recently, beginning three centuries ago. High frequency of fire and the presence of Elaeis guineensis both dated recently (between 260 and 145 BP) suggest slash-and-burn shifting cultivation practices. These human-induced disturbances may coincide with the age of the current emergent lightdemanding species, the age of which can be estimated around 200 years, or with the phases of drying climate recorded in the Central African forest in the early 18th century. Conclusions – These results support the idea that historical human disturbances are one of the major factors that shaped the current forest composition in Central Africa. [less ▲]

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See detailExplorer la banque de graines du sol pour mieux comprendre la dynamique de régénération des forêts tropicales africaines (synthèse bibliographique)
Douh, Chauvelin ULg; Daïnou, Kasso ULg; Loumeto, Jean Joël et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (in press), 18(4),

La banque de graines du sol des forêts denses humides africaines a été très peu étudiée, alors qu’elle pourrait jouer un rôle déterminant dans les cycles sylvigénétiques naturels. Elle pourrait également ... [more ▼]

La banque de graines du sol des forêts denses humides africaines a été très peu étudiée, alors qu’elle pourrait jouer un rôle déterminant dans les cycles sylvigénétiques naturels. Elle pourrait également être avantageusement utilisée dans les programmes de restauration, à l’instar de ce qui se fait sur d’autres continents. La présente synthèse bibliographique fait le point sur les connaissances actuelles relatives à la banque de graines du sol, en mettant l’accent sur le continent africain. Elle montre qu’une meilleure caractérisation de la banque de graines du sol des différentes communautés végétales constituerait une contribution notable pour la gestion durable des forêts tropicales d’Afrique. [less ▲]

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See detailSoil charcoal to assess the impacts of past human disturbances on tropical forests
Vleminckx, Jason; Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Biwolé, Achille et al

in PLoS ONE (2014)

The canopy of many central African forests is dominated by light-demanding tree species that do not regenerate well under themselves. The prevalence of these species might result from ancient slash-and ... [more ▼]

The canopy of many central African forests is dominated by light-demanding tree species that do not regenerate well under themselves. The prevalence of these species might result from ancient slash-and-burn agricultural activities that created large openings, while a decline of these activities since the colonial period could explain their deficit of regeneration. To verify this hypothesis, we compared soil charcoal abundance, used as a proxy for past slash-and-burn agriculture, and tree species composition assessed on 208 rainforest 0.2 ha plots located in three areas from Southern Cameroon. Species were classified in regeneration guilds (pioneer, non-pioneer light-demanding, shade-bearer) and characterized by their woodspecific gravity, assumed to reflect light requirement. We tested the correlation between soil charcoal abundance and: (i) the relative abundance of each guild, (ii) each species and family abundance and (iii) mean wood-specific gravity. Charcoal was found in 83% of the plots, indicating frequent past forest fires. Radiocarbon dating revealed two periods of fires: ‘‘recent’’ charcoal were on average 300 years old (up to 860 BP, n = 16) and occurred in the uppermost 20 cm soil layer, while ‘‘ancient’’ charcoal were on average 1900 years old (range: 1500 to 2800 BP, n = 43, excluding one sample dated 9400 BP), and found in all soil layers. While we expected a positive correlation between the relative abundance of light demanding species and charcoal abundance in the upper soil layer, overall there was no evidence that the current heterogeneity in tree species composition can be explained by charcoal abundance in any soil layer. The absence of signal supporting our hypothesis might result from (i) a relatively uniform impact of past slash-and-burn activities, (ii) pedoturbation processes bringing ancient charcoal to the upper soil layer, blurring the signal of centuries-old Human disturbances, or (iii) the prevalence of other environmental factors on species composition. [less ▲]

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See detailRecords of human activity during the late-Holocene in the soils of the African dense humid forest
Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Biwolé, Achille; Bourland, Nils ULg et al

Conference (2014, April 30)

Recently, several authors gathered data about the presence of past human populations in tropical regions covered by dense forest nowadays. In central Africa, there is a growing body of evidence for past ... [more ▼]

Recently, several authors gathered data about the presence of past human populations in tropical regions covered by dense forest nowadays. In central Africa, there is a growing body of evidence for past human settlements along the Atlantic coast, but very little information is available further inland. In this perspective, soil records seem to be the most appropriated so as to appraise the spatial and temporal extent of human activity in the African dense humid forest. In this paper, we thus aimed to present a synthesis of the archaeological and archaeobotanical data obtained during several fieldwork campaigns in an archaeologically unexplored area of 200,000 km² located in southern Cameroon and the northern Republic of Congo. A total of 275 test pits, among them 30 pedological pits up to 150 cm deep, were excavated in the study area. So as to get a long temporal scale as well as a fine resolution spatial scale, we quantified wood charcoal and charred endocarps in soil samples by layers of 10 cm taken for 100 pits located along transects of systematic sampling. Spatial projections were performed using statistics together with multivariate analyses. AMS radiocarbon dating allowed interpreting the temporal framework. Evidence of past human activities through either artifacts or charred botanical remains was observed in all pits, in particular with the ubiquitous presence of charcoal at each site. Main charcoal peaks were interpreted as fields (slash-and-burn agriculture) in the vicinity of ancient villages, the later marked by the presence of both potsherds and oil palm endocarps. The dichotomy of these kinds of activities may have impacted differentially the environment during the past. The set of 73 radiocarbon dates extending from 15,000 BP to the present time provided more dates in the late-Holocene showing a bimodal distribution which was interpreted as two phases of human expansion with an intermediate phase of population crash. The 2300–1300 BP phase is correlated with the migrations of supposed farming populations from northwestern Cameroon. Between 1300 and 670 BP, less material could be dated. Following that population collapse, the 670–20 BP phase corresponds to a new period of human expansion known as the Late Iron Age. The dates obtained support the established chronology reported for whole central Africa. This study underlines the necessity of fieldwork efforts and of the usefulness of archives sealed in soil records so as to bring new, extensive and precise evidence of human activities in the Congo Basin. [less ▲]

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See detailHistoire humaine des forêts tropicales du nord du Bassin du Congo durant les deux derniers millénaires
Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Biwolé, Achille; Bourland, Nils ULg et al

Scientific conference (2014, March 26)

Identifier les indices d’activités humaines anciennes et les mettre en relation avec la composition floristique actuelle grâce à une approche multidisciplinaire.

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See detailSpeciation slowing down in widespread and long-living tree taxa : insights from the tropical timber tree genus Milicia (Moraceae)
Daïnou, Kasso ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Duminil, Jérôme et al

in Heredity (2014)

The long generation time and large effective size of widespread forest tree species can result in slow evolutionary rate and incomplete lineage sorting, complicating species delimitation. We addressed ... [more ▼]

The long generation time and large effective size of widespread forest tree species can result in slow evolutionary rate and incomplete lineage sorting, complicating species delimitation. We addressed this issue with the African timber tree genus Milicia that comprises two morphologically similar and often confounded species: M. excelsa, widespread from West to East Africa, and M. regia, endemic to West Africa. We combined information from nuclear microsatellites (nSSRs), nuclear and plastid DNA sequences, and morphological systematics to identify significant evolutionary units and infer their evolutionary and biogeographical history. We detected five geographically coherent genetic clusters using nSSRs and three levels of genetic differentiation. First, one West African cluster matched perfectly with the morphospecies M. regia that formed a monophyletic clade at both DNA sequences. Second, a West African M. excelsa cluster formed a monophyletic group at plastid DNA and was more related to M. regia than to Central African M. excelsa, but shared many haplotypes with the latter at nuclear DNA. Third, three Central African clusters appeared little differentiated and shared most of their haplotypes. Although gene tree paraphyly could suggest a single species in Milicia following the phylogenetic species concept, the existence of mutual haplotypic exclusivity and nonadmixed genetic clusters in the contact area of the two taxa indicate strong reproductive isolation and, thus, two species following the biological species concept. Molecular dating of the first divergence events showed that speciation in Milicia is ancient (Tertiary), indicating that long-living tree taxa exhibiting genetic speciation may remain similar morphologically. [less ▲]

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See detailWood charcoal analysis: a relatively new tool for palaeoecology in tropical Africa
Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Biwole, Achille ULg; Bourland, Nils ULg et al

Scientific conference (2014, February 14)

This is an introduction about wood charcoal properties, collection and taxonomical identification in the framework of palaeoecological studies in Central Africa through examples of possible applications.

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See detailSoil Seed Bank : a poorly know component of forest regeneration
Douh, Chauvelin ULg; Daïnou, Kasso ULg; Fernandez Pierna, Juan-Antonio et al

Poster (2014, February)

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See detailLes plantations forestières en Afrique centrale : des sylvicultures nouvelles pour répondre aux nouveaux besoins des sociétés
Marien, Jean-Noël; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie; Peltier, Régis et al

in de Wasseige, Carlos; Flynn, J.; Louppe, Dominique (Eds.) et al Les forêts du Bassin du Congo - Etat des forêts 2013 (2014)

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See detailUn complexe d’espèces d’Afzelia des forêts africaines d’intérêt économique et écologique (synthèse bibliographique)
Donkpegan, Segbedji ULg; Hardy, J. Olivier; Lejeune, Philippe ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2014), 18(2),

The purpose of this review is to provide a knowledge update and a comprehensive literature review of the genus Afzelia, a complex of sister species exploited for their timber in Central Africa. The ... [more ▼]

The purpose of this review is to provide a knowledge update and a comprehensive literature review of the genus Afzelia, a complex of sister species exploited for their timber in Central Africa. The distribution of Afzelia species in Africa suggests that the tree has made various adaptations due to ecological factors. However, on the basis of only vegetative criteria, it is difficult to distinguish species in forest inventory, and this could compromise the sustainable management approach promoted by the populations of Central African countries. We show that the genus remains generally understudied, although some of its species are considered by the IUCN as being under threat. Therefore, the ecological and genetic aspects of our investigations should prove relevant to the future cultivation of Afzelia. [less ▲]

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See detailReproductive ecology of Coula edulis Baill., source of a valuable non-timber forest product
Moupela, Christian ULg; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg; Daïnou, Kasso ULg et al

in Tropical Ecology (2014), 55(3), 327-338

The reproductive ecology of Coula edulis (Olacaceae), source of a highly valuable non-timber product for African populations, has been investigated on a large tree sample size in a Gabonese forest for a 3 ... [more ▼]

The reproductive ecology of Coula edulis (Olacaceae), source of a highly valuable non-timber product for African populations, has been investigated on a large tree sample size in a Gabonese forest for a 3-year period, in order to propose options for its domestication. Reproduction is annual and the minimum tree diameter for flowering was 10.6 cm while the diameter for regular fructification was 23 cm. The annual diameter increment (ADI; mean = 0.22 cm year-1) was affected by crown exposure, but not by initial tree diameter or fruit production. Tree diameter influenced fruiting frequency and fruit production. There was a strong correlation between fruit production of 2011 and 2012 (Pearson's r = 0.85; P < 0.001), suggesting a high heritability of that trait. Phenotypical selection should be performed prior to any propagation activity. Moreover, as most of C. edulis fruits were sterile (64 %), we propose that sylvicultural strategies should be based on vegetative propagation. [less ▲]

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See detailImpacts of past Human disturbances on present-day tree species assembly in a tropical forest of South-East Cameroon
Vleminckx, Jason; Doucet, Jean-Louis ULg; Daïnou, Kasso ULg et al

Poster (2013, November 06)

Many evidence have been found for intensive past Human presence in the forests of Central Africa, notably widespread charcoal occurrence in the soil. Forest clearing for slash-and-burn agriculture may ... [more ▼]

Many evidence have been found for intensive past Human presence in the forests of Central Africa, notably widespread charcoal occurrence in the soil. Forest clearing for slash-and-burn agriculture may have favored the competitiveness of light-demanding species (LD) to the detriment of shade-bearer species (SB). Hypothesis: Positive correlation between abundance of charcoal in the soil (proxy for past Human clearing) and abundance of LD.Mostly “young” charcoals were thought to reflect past Human disturbances that would have shaped present-day species assembly. However, CAI 0-20cm and CAI 20-100cm were highly correlated with each other (r-Pearson = 0.55; P<0.001) and both displayed positive correlations with Non-Pioneer LD abundance (significant with a classic test) and negative correlations with SB abundance. Although this observation is coherent with our hypothesis, significance disappeared when correcting for spatial autocorrelation [4], even after removing small-diameter trees potentially too young to be linked with last Human disturbances (not shown). Correlation of CAI between the two soil layers => Humans found appropriate conditions for settlement in the same area at different periods? Absence of significant correlation in ❸ (i) Last Human disturbances are too old to detect any signal on present-day tree species assembly. (ii) Human impact is weak compared to other factors (soil properties, dispersal limitation,…) (iii) Local scale heterogeneity of LD abundance is weak compared to landscape scale. Parallel large scale gradients in the abundance of Non-Pioneer LD and charcoal abundance (proxy for past slash-and-burn activities) were observed, but a causal link cannot be established so far. [less ▲]

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See detailDe la paléoécologie à l'écologie actuelle : 2000 ans d'interaction homme-milieu dans le nord du Bassin du Congo
Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Bentaleb, Ilham; Biwole, Achille ULg et al

Poster (2013, November 06)

La forêt tropicale africaine a longtemps été considérée comme vierge du passage de l’homme. Cependant, plusieurs études récentes en paléoécologie et archéologie ont démontré la présence d’activités ... [more ▼]

La forêt tropicale africaine a longtemps été considérée comme vierge du passage de l’homme. Cependant, plusieurs études récentes en paléoécologie et archéologie ont démontré la présence d’activités humaines anciennes à partir d’indices paléoenvironnementaux (i.e. pollens de plantes anthropophiles) et d’artefacts (i.e. tessons de céramique). Ces études sont toutefois trop rares en raison de difficultés de terrain pour repérer et accéder aux sites archéologiques (couvert végétale dense, absence de pistes). De grandes zones à l’intérieur des terres demeurent donc inexplorées. Par ailleurs, peu d’études se sont penchées sur la question de l’impact de ces activités anthropiques passées sur la structure et la composition de la végétation actuelle. Grâce à une approche multidisciplinaire à la frontière entre sciences humaines et sciences de l’environnement (archéologie, pédoanthracologie : charbons de bois des sols, écologie forestière), notre objectif est d’identifier des indices d’activités humaines anciennes, lesquels sont été mis en relation avec les patrons actuels de végétation. Nos trois zones d’étude sont localisées en forêt tropicale humide de type guinéo-congolais et sont réparties dans le sud-ouest et sud-est du Cameroun et le nord de la République du Congo. Le long d’une vingtaine de transects de plusieurs kilomètres, nous avons appliqué un protocole systématique de récolte de matériel archéologique et archéobotanique dans des fosses situées sur des parcelles d’inventaire botanique. Ceci nous a permis de récolter plus d’un millier d’échantillons contenant des macrorestes végétaux carbonisés ainsi que des artefacts inédits pour la région (pierre taillée et polie, tessons de céramique, scories de métallurgie) et d’inventorier la végétation dans l’environnement immédiat des découvertes. L’analyse spatiale et temporelle (chronologie relative et par datation radiocarbone) des macrorestes a permis d’identifier des villages entourés de probables champs agricoles (agriculture itinérante sur brûlis). Les 68 datations radiocarbones et les types céramiques obtenus suivent une chronologie archéologique en deux phases : un âge du Fer ancien entre 2300 et 1300 BP et un âge du Fer récent se poursuivant jusqu’à la période subactuelle, entre 670 et 20 BP. Entre ces deux phases d’occupation, les traces d’activités anthropiques sont rares. La première phase d’activités serait à mettre en relation avec une fragmentation de la forêt dense à la suite d’un épisode climatique aride autour de 2500 BP, permettant ainsi aux populations de pénétrer la forêt. Un épisode plus humide à partir de 800 BP, avec un retour d’un couvert plus dense, aurait fait reculer les populations humaines. Leur rétablissement dans les forêts se serait produit conjointement à des conditions plus sèches. Ces trois phases rejoignent la chronologie générale établie à l’échelle de l’Afrique centrale. Les premiers taxons identifiés parmi les macrorestes végétaux carbonisés, graines et charbons de bois, démontrent l’utilisation ancienne du palmier à huile et d’arbres fruitiers sauvages. Les espèces ligneuses identifiées sont présentes dans le cortège floristique actuel. L’identification taxonomique des charbons de bois devrait nous permettre de reconstituer l’environnement végétal au cours des deux derniers millénaires. Les différences observées dans les couverts forestiers passé et actuel en termes de composition floristique ainsi que la structure des peuplements actuels sont de bons indicateurs d’impacts récents de l’homme sur son milieu. [less ▲]

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See detailLe genre Guibourtia Benn: un modèle biologique idéal pour comprendre les mécanismes de spéciation
Tosso, Dji-ndé Félicien ULg; Daïnou, Kasso ULg; Hardy, Olivier et al

Poster (2013, November 06)

Les forêts denses tropicales humides se distinguent par leur grande diversité biologique qui leur confère un caractère complexe. Dans un tel contexte, comprendre le passé et l'histoire évolutive de la ... [more ▼]

Les forêts denses tropicales humides se distinguent par leur grande diversité biologique qui leur confère un caractère complexe. Dans un tel contexte, comprendre le passé et l'histoire évolutive de la dynamique de ces forêts, constitue un moyen efficace pour prédire leur dynamique future. De telles études qui traitent de la biologie évolutive (phylogénie et phylogéographie) sont rares en Afrique comparativement aux autres continents. Le présent travail ambitionne de contribuer, sur base d’un modèle biologique comportant plusieurs espèces sœurs, à la compréhension des mécanismes à l'origine de la diversité des écosystèmes forestiers tropicaux. Le modèle biologique choisi est le genre Guibourtia Benn daté de moins de 20.000 ans qui regroupe 13 espèces ligneuses africaines de grande importance socio-culturelle et économique. Ce modèle rassemble non seulement des espèces de formations végétales différentes (forêt et savane) mais aussi des espèces inféodées aux régions établies sur des sols variés (sableux, argilo-limoneux, calcaire, hydromorphe etc.). Spécifiquement, l’étude vise à (i) démêler les relations phylogénétiques au sein du genre Guibourtia sur la base de caractérisations physiologique et morphogénétique; (ii) inférer l'histoire évolutive au sein du genre Guibourtia grâce aux récents outils d'analyse phylogéographique et de datation moléculaire ; et (iii) examiner les possibilités de flux de gènes entre deux espèces morphologiquement semblables à savoir G. tessmannii (Harms) J. Léonard et G. pellegriniana J. Léonard à l’échelle du Gabon. Ce travail se distingue par son originalité du fait qu’il développe une approche qui combine la physiologie et la génétique. Les résultats contribueront à modéliser la distribution des différentes unités évolutives du genre Guibourtia avec un modèle dynamique de végétation (CARAIB) afin de conclure sur leur statut de conservation et déduire les stratégies de gestion durable appropriées. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalyzing soil charcoals to assess the naturalness of tropical forest
Morin-Rivat, Julie ULg; Gorel, Anaïs-Pasiphaé; Daïnou, Kasso ULg et al

Conference (2013, June 26)

For conservation biology and sustainable management, the natural character of tropical forest is a crucial issue. Its assessment is usually based on ecological proxies such as forest composition and ... [more ▼]

For conservation biology and sustainable management, the natural character of tropical forest is a crucial issue. Its assessment is usually based on ecological proxies such as forest composition and structure. However the estimation made on this basis only considers short term processes at a local scale. In contrast the long term processes are appraised by palaeoecological proxies (such as pollen) at a regional scale. So as to assess the degree of naturalness of tropical ecosystems in a conservation perspective it is important to combine a long temporal scale as well as a fine resolution spatial scale. Such approaches using palaeoecological proxies have been recently tested in temperate Europe but little in tropical ecosystems. Nonetheless the long term preservation of the palaeoecological material and its broad presence in the environment are necessary conditions to fulfill. In this perspective soil charcoal appears to meet these requirements. In this paper we aimed at assessing the naturalness of tropical forest using soil charcoal from southeastern Cameroon. Fieldwork involving as well archaeology as botany was undertaken at 53 sites. We quantified charcoal in soil samples by layers of 10 cm taken from pits located in the center of plots of botanical inventory. Spatial projections were performed using statistics together with multivariate analyses. Radiocarbon dating allowed interpreting the temporal framework. Results showed the ubiquitous presence of charcoal at each site. Main charcoal peaks were interpreted as fields (slash-and-burn agriculture) in the vicinity of ancient villages. These practices shaped the forest over time which cannot be considered as natural anymore. This underlines the potential input of the use of palaeoecological material in conservation biology and sustainable management issues. Charcoal fragments are under taxonomical identification and may provide new insights on the long term history of forest composition. [less ▲]

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See detailHow closely are Pericopsis elata (Fabaceae) patches linked to past human disturbances in South-Eastern Cameroon
Bourland, Nils ULg; Cerisier, François; Daïnou, Kasso ULg et al

Conference (2013, June 26)

Studies conducted in the Congo Basin forests concluded that soil parameters and large disturbances induced by human activities since 3000–2000 BP could be the main driver for the persistence of long lived ... [more ▼]

Studies conducted in the Congo Basin forests concluded that soil parameters and large disturbances induced by human activities since 3000–2000 BP could be the main driver for the persistence of long lived light-demanding tall tree species. Today most of the timber species belong to this group, among them Pericopsis elata (Fabaceae). Like many other light-demanding trees, this species suffers from important regeneration problems. While the conditions for its establishment must have been met in the past, they obviously have become unfavourable. Because of ongoing logging activities and a natural decline of its populations, this species is recorded in both the IUCN Red List and the CITES Appendix II listings. Our goal was to investigate the roles of both pedological and anthropogenic factors in the persistence of forest patches characterized by this clustered species. Soil surveys, botanical inventories and anthracological excavations were conducted in three different forest sites located in south-eastern Cameroon. P. elata patches (3.3-14.7 ha) were studied and compared to their close surroundings. No statistical differences were observed between the results of botanical inventories conducted inside and outside the patches (Morisita-Horn indices from 0.69-0.77). Soils only differed in Fe content, but otherwise no significant differences could be observed. Charcoal is widespread and abundant in study sites, mostly inside the patches. Charcoal radiocarbon dating (2,150-195 BP) was consistent with decoration techniques of archaeological materials that we discovered. The average age of P. elata individuals coincides with fire events that occurred in a region where fires rarely occur naturally. We present evidence of past anthropogenic disturbances (human settlement, slash-and-burn cultivation) in the Congolese mixed moist semi-evergreen forest in south-eastern Cameroon. We discuss the potential influence of our findings on the management of light-demanding tall trees populations in a context of logging activities. [less ▲]

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See detailAfzelia populations, a poorly known species complex of timber trees from African tropical forests
Donkpegan, Segbedji ULg; Hardy, Olivier; Daïnou, Kasso ULg et al

Scientific conference (2013, June 26)

The fate of African tropical forests is a major concern for conservation, while their biodiversity is still poorly known. The purpose of this poster is to provide an update of knowledge of the genus ... [more ▼]

The fate of African tropical forests is a major concern for conservation, while their biodiversity is still poorly known. The purpose of this poster is to provide an update of knowledge of the genus Afzelia, a complex of sister tree species exploited for their wood in central Africa. The distribution of Afzelia in Africa suggests various adaptations to ecological factors. In fact, most of Afzelia species occur in parapatry and are so similar that they are often not distinguished by logging companies and forests managers. We show that the genus remains understudied in Africa although some of its species are considered as endangered or vulnerable. Therefore, a revision of its taxonomy along with thorough investigations of ecological and genetic aspects of Afzelia populations, using molecular markers currently in development (nSSR, cpDNA and nDNA), should be relevant and of great interest for conservation and sustainable management purposes. We will describe the different and complementary morpho-genetic approaches that will be used to investigate the biogeographical history of Afzeliapopulation in concert with species boundary questions. [less ▲]

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