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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Does designation of protected areas ensure conservation of tree diversity in the Sudanian dry forests of Burkina Faso?

Pare, Souleymane; Tigabu, Mulualem; Savadogo, Patrice; Oden, Per Christer; Ouadba, Jean Marie

Abstract

The importance of conservation status of the forest (protected versus unprotected) at two sites with differing human population density (high versus low) on the tree diversity of a Sudanian dry forest in Burkina Faso was studied. All woody species were recorded in 127 circular plots (area = 456.16 m2), and density, dominance, frequency, importance value indices and a variety of diversity measures were calculated to assess the species composition, structure and heterogeneity. A total of 69 species, representing 26 families and 52 genera, were found. Combretaceae, Leguminosae subfamily Caesalpinioideae and Rubiaceae were the dominant families. Neither human pressure nor forest conservation status significantly influenced the tree species richness. Stem density and basal area were significantly higher at the site with high population density than otherwise. Fisher's diversity index revealed the unprotected forest at the site with low population density as the most diverse. We identified species with high conservation importance that should be enriched to maintain a viable population size. In conclusion, the current designation of protected areas seems inefficient at ensuring the conservation of tree diversity in the forest reserve. Thus, participatory conservation programme should be initiated.

Keywords

biodiversity; disturbance; human population density; species richness

Published in

African Journal of Ecology
2010, Volume: 48, number: 2, pages: 347-360