Uses, management, and population status of the baobab in eastern Burkina Faso
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- Schumann, K., Wittig, R., Thiombiano, A. et al. Agroforest Syst (2012) 85: 263. doi:10.1007/s10457-012-9499-3
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Many cash-poor households in the semi-arid tropics strongly depend on non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for livelihood. Increasing threats on NTFP-providing tree species, due to land-use intensification, require ecological studies as well as additional information about species’ uses and management provided by local people. The objectives of our study were to (i) document uses and management of the baobab (Adansonia digitata L.), (ii) investigate knowledge distribution among genders and different villages, and (iii) assess the population status of the baobab in eastern Burkina Faso. We conducted an ethnobotanical survey among Gulimanceba people and performed a quantitative analysis using different measures of knowledge. Interviews reveal that the baobab is harvested by local people for 25 use-types. The fruits are the most important plant part and baobab products are of special importance for nutritional uses. Local management of baobab seems to be so far sufficient to maintain baobab populations. The fact that we found some differences in uses and management of baobab between genders and villages emphasizes the importance of gender- and region-related management recommendation. People are able to use and manage the baobab in a relative sustainable way as human population density is relatively low and as they have relatively good access to the forest compared to other regions of Burkina Faso. However, in the light of land-use and climate changes, adapted management strategies are required. We conclude that ethnobotanical studies on a small-scale level are of high importance in order to develop management strategies that are reliable in a specific region.