International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 543

Full Length Research Paper

Ethnobotany and population structure of Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Delile in Sahelian zone of Cameroon

Hamawa Yougouda
  • Hamawa Yougouda
  • Department of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Derived Products, The Higher National Polytechnic College, University of Maroua, P. O. Box 46, Maroua, Cameroon.
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Tchatchoua Tchapda Dorothy
  • Tchatchoua Tchapda Dorothy
  • Department of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Derived Products, The Higher National Polytechnic College, University of Maroua, P. O. Box 46, Maroua, Cameroon.
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Arbonnier Michel
  • Arbonnier Michel
  • Department of Environments and Societies/UR 105, Forests and Societies, CIRAD, TA C 105/D, Cameroon.
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Mapongmetsem Pierre Marie
  • Mapongmetsem Pierre Marie
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Ngaoundere, P. O. Box: 454 Ngaoundere, Cameroon.
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  •  Received: 04 October 2017
  •  Accepted: 27 November 2017
  •  Published: 28 February 2018

Abstract

Indigenous tree species have multiple functions and the strong pressure exerted on them threatens their populations. The study aims to investigate the main uses of Balanites aegyptiaca and assess its population structure in the Sahelian zone of Cameroon. The study was carried out using ethnobotanical and quantitative ecological methods. The results showed that the species is multipurpose and produces six different products and services. The first three most mentioned were food, firewood and handicraft. The fruits and leaves were the most appreciated parts of the species. In all, 1026 individuals were recorded and it occurred at a density of 114 individuals.ha-1. Individuals belonging to 5-15 cm dbh were most important (49.55%) and the adult trees (>75 cm dbh) represented only 3%. An analysis of population structure showed that the population was essentially young and presented an "L" shape. The absence of old individuals in the area showed that the regeneration and the management of this species were unsustainable. Studies on the forestry of the species are necessary to satisfy the local population needs because the vulgarization of knowledge on the species can lead to its exploitation at a large scale.

Key words: Balanites aegyptiaca, regeneration, medicinal plant, Sahelian zone, Cameroon.