Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 87, Issue 6, pp 1363–1375 | Cite as

Human impact on population structure and fruit production of the socio-economically important tree Lannea microcarpa in Burkina Faso

  • Daniela H. Haarmeyer
  • Katharina Schumann
  • Markus Bernhardt-Römermann
  • Rüdiger Wittig
  • Adjima Thiombiano
  • Karen Hahn


Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are of high socio-economic value for rural people in West Africa. Main factors determining the status of the populations of socio-economically important tree species providing those NTFPs are human activities. This study assesses the impact of human population density, land use, and NTFP-harvesting (pruning and debarking) on population structure and fruit production of the socio-economically important tree Lannea microcarpa that is normally conserved by farmers on fields. We compared L. microcarpa stands of protected sites with those of their surrounding communal sites in two differently populated areas in Burkina Faso. Our results reveal an opposed land use impact on the population structure of L. microcarpa in the two areas. In the highly populated area, the species population was more stable in the protected site than in the communal site, while the opposite was observed for the less populated area. Trees of the communal sites bore more fruits than trees of the protected sites. Debarking and pruning had a negative impact on fruit production of the species. We conclude that low intensity of human impact is beneficial for the species and that indirect human impact facilitates fruit production of L. microcarpa. In contrast, in the densely populated area, human impact has reached an intensity that negatively affects the populations of L. microcarpa. While the extent of protecting L. microcarpa on fields still seems to be enough to guarantee the persistence of this important species in the less populated area, it is no longer sufficient in the densely populated area.


Harvesting Land use Non-timber forest products Size class distribution West African savanna 



This work was funded by UNDESERT (EU FP7 243906) “Understanding and combating desertification to mitigate its impact on ecosystem services”, financed by the European Commission, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, Environment Program. We thank the LOEWE Program “Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlich-ökonomischer Exzellenz” of the State of Hesse for the financial support of the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F). We further want to thank the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation of Burkina Faso for research permit and all foresters of the W National Park and Classified Forest of Gonsé for their cooperation and support. We are grateful to Dr. Blandine Nacoulma (University of Ouagadougou) for scientific and logistic support. Furthermore, we want to thank Lardia Thiombiano, Till Ulmer, Yentenma Yonli, and Marc Kaboré for their assistance during field work. Finally, we are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela H. Haarmeyer
    • 1
  • Katharina Schumann
    • 1
  • Markus Bernhardt-Römermann
    • 2
    • 5
  • Rüdiger Wittig
    • 1
    • 3
  • Adjima Thiombiano
    • 4
  • Karen Hahn
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Ecology, Evolution and DiversityJ.W. Goethe UniversityFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Institute of BotanyUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  3. 3.Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)Frankfurt am MainGermany
  4. 4.Department of Plant Biology and Physiology, UFR-SVTUniversity of OuagadougouOuagadougou 09Burkina Faso
  5. 5.Institute of EcologyFriedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany

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