Pterocarpus erinaceus Poir., a spontaneous species from Guinean savannahs of West Africa, plays as socio-economic and cultural livelihood in rural areas of Benin. This study improved the knowledge of people about the uses of Pterocarpus erinaceus organs connected to the sociolinguistic diversity in Benin, intending to enhance the pathways of conservation and sustainable management of the species. A total of 506 respondents from nine big sociolinguistic groups were interviewed using a survey questionnaire. To show the diversity of the organs/parts used as well as the categories of uses, principal component analyzes were performed to matrices including the Relative Frequencies of Citation grouping the socio-demographic factors and the categories of uses, together under the packages FactoMineR and factoextra. The results revealed the use of all Pterocarpus erinaceus organs in various forms of use for various purposes and make it an important species of livelihood for the local people. Sixty-four diseases, symptoms, or pathologies are cured by using Pterocarpus erinaceus organs. These various uses of Pterocarpus erinaceus varied among the sociolinguistic groups. The results of the study suggest the need to define conservation strategies for the natural stands of Pterocarpus erinaceus to ensure sustainable management of the species.
Keywords: forest livelihoods, traditional uses, ethnomedicinal knowledge, conservation, Principal Component Analysis, West Africa