Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 115–125 | Cite as

Weed removal improves coppice growth of Daniellia oliveri and its use as fuelwood in traditional fallows in Benin

  • R. Houehounha
  • H. T. Avohou
  • O. G. Gaoue
  • A. E. Assogbadjo
  • B. Sinsin


Daniellia oliveri is an indigenous tree with multiple coppicing that is harvested as firewood by local people from savannas and traditional fallows in West Africa. We investigated the effects of periodic weed removal on D. oliveri resprouting and growth in traditional fallows and its use for firewood production by smallholder harvesters. Protected plots were established in D. oliveri dominated fallows at four sites with contrasting soil types. The weedy control plots experienced periodic fires and grass competition. Sizes of firewood logs were surveyed on local markets and used to estimate the quantity of marketable firewood for each treatment. The species sprouted vigorously, forming pure stands. Leading shoot density on weed-free plots was three times higher, reaching 7,250 ± 454 shoots ha−1 34 months after land clearance when compared to 2,425 ± 215 shoots ha−1 on weedy plots. The weed removal treatment increased shoot height from 18 to 34 months after land clearance, while shoot diameter was not affected. After 24 months, 50% of the shoots were of marketable size for the weedy treatment, while this was reached at 18 months for the weed-free treatment.


Resprouting Traditional fallow Fuelwood Weed control Guinea-Sudanian zone Daniellia oliveri Benin 



We are grateful to Romain Kakai Glele and Valentin Kindomihou for useful comments on an earlier version of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Houehounha
    • 1
  • H. T. Avohou
    • 1
  • O. G. Gaoue
    • 2
  • A. E. Assogbadjo
    • 1
  • B. Sinsin
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Applied EcologyUniversity of Abomey CalaviCotonouBenin
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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