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Diversity and Current Spatial Distribution of Wild-Edible Fruit Trees Species in the Lama Forest Reserve in Benin

Agbahoungba, Symphorien, Assogbadjo, Achille Ephrem, Agoyi, Eric Etchikinto, Sinsin, Brice
International journal of fruit science 2019 v.19 no.1 pp. 13-28
Dialium guineense, Ficus sur, Lecaniodiscus, Mimusops, Psidium guajava, conservation areas, fallow, forest reserves, forests, fruit trees, inventories, nutrients, Benin
Wild-edible fruits tree (WEFT) species constitute an important source of nutrients but nowadays, these resources are concentrated in the protected areas. This study aimed to evaluate the diversity and distribution pattern of WEFT species in the Lama Forest Reserve in Benin, to provide basics for designing appropriate conservation strategies. An inventory of WEFT species was carried out in 53 square plots demarcated in the four vegetation types of the reserve. Shannon (H), Pielou (E), Green (GI) indices, and the actual distribution maps of the species were generated. The results revealed 10 WEFT species within the dense forests and young fallow having nine species, while the old fallow had seven species. The diversity indices showed that the reserve had low floristic diversity (H = 2.41 and E = 0.73) in WEFT species. Dialium guineense, Ficus capensis, Mimusops andongensis, and Pancovia bijuga, in the young fallow, Lecaniodiscus cupanioides, and Psidium guajava in the degraded dense forest and L. cupanioides, and P. bijuga in old fallow exhibited an aggregative distribution (GI), suggesting that more effort need to be put on their conservation in these vegetation types. The maps generated in this study can later be used as reference to carry out gap analyses.