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: 635

Full Length Research Paper

Availability and size class distribution of the most popular Indigenous fruits trees and implications for sustainable harvest around the Ivindo National Park, Gabon

Christian MIKOLO YOBO
  • Christian MIKOLO YOBO
  • Department of Bioengineering Science, Division of International Cooperation in Agricultural Science Laboratory of Project Development; Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, 464-8601, Japan. Institute des Recherches en Ecologie Tropicale (IRET), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique (CENAREST), BP: 13 354 ? Libreville, Gabon.
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Kasumi ITO
  • Kasumi ITO
  • Department of Bioengineering Science, Division of International Cooperation in Agricultural Science Laboratory of Project Development; Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, 464-8601, Japan.
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  •  Received: 18 July 2014
  •  Accepted: 17 October 2014
  •  Published: 20 November 2014

Abstract

A study was carried out in “the often” and “the rarely” harvested locations of the Ivindo National Park (Gabon) to determine the availability, height and Diameter at breast height (DBH) size class distributions of Coula edulis, Dacriodes buettneri and Irvingia gabonensis, the three most popular Indigenous fruits (IFs) used by local people for meeting their livelihoods needs around the Ivindo National Park (INP), Gabon. In total 18 sample plots measuring each 20 × 10 m (six), 2 × 2 m (six) and 1 × 1 m (six) were purposely centered around identified mature trees, sapling and seedling individuals following a northeast direction, with three in each harvested location. DBH of mature trees and sapling individuals of the three species were determined and seedling height measured. These tree species were the most abundant in “the often” and “the rarely” accessed locations of the forests and D. buettneri was the least abundant in those locations. The poor population structures of seedling, sapling and mature tree species indicate an unhealthy population exposed to disturbances. Since few mature trees have a Fixed Felling Minimum Diameter (FFMD), bigger than DBH size class of (8) (70.0 - 79.9 cm) for D. buettneri and DBH size class of (5) (40.0 - 49.9 cm) for each of C. edulis and I. gabonensis means that the number of mature trees that can be cut off and produce seeds are limited. On-farm tree planting by local people should be encouraged to supply valued fruit trees species and reduce pressure on the protected forests.
 
Key words: Abundance, size-class distributions, Indigenous Fruits Trees, Sustainable harvest, Ivindo National Park, Gabon.