Next Article in Journal
Behavioral Modelling in a Decision Support System
Next Article in Special Issue
Differential Performance between Two Timber Species in Forest Logging Gaps and in Plantations in Central Africa
Previous Article in Journal
Changes in a Primary Resistance Parameter of Lodgepole Pine to Bark Beetle Attack One Year Following Fertilization and Thinning
Previous Article in Special Issue
Dendrochronological Potential in a Semi-Deciduous Rainforest: The Case of Pericopsis elata in Central Africa
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Forests 2015, 6(2), 293-310; doi:10.3390/f6020293

How Tightly Linked Are Pericopsis elata (Fabaceae) Patches to Anthropogenic Disturbances in Southeastern Cameroon?

1
BIOSE, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University Liège, Gestion des Ressources Forestières, Gembloux B-5030, Belgium
2
Royal Museum for Central Africa, Service of Wood Biology, Tervuren B-3080, Belgium
3
Royal Museum for Central Africa, Section of Prehistory and Archaeology, Tervuren B-3080, Belgium
4
Laboratory of Wood Technology, Department of Forest and Water Management, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent B-9000, Belgium
5
Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University Liège, Unité de Statistique, Informatique et Mathématique appliquées, Gembloux B-5030, Belgium
6
Pallisco SARL, Avenue des Cocotiers 478, Douala BP 394, Cameroon
7
Nature Plus asbl, Walhain-Saint-Paul B-1457, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Plinio Sist, Robert Nasi and Jean-Paul Laclau
Received: 30 October 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2015 / Published: 29 January 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [818 KB, uploaded 29 January 2015]   |  

Abstract

While most past studies have emphasized the relationships between specific forest stands and edaphic factors, recent observations in Central African moist forests suggested that an increase of slash-and-burn agriculture since 3000–2000 BP (Before Present) could be the main driver of the persistence of light-demanding tree species. In order to examine anthropogenic factors in the persistence of such populations, our study focused on Pericopsis elata, an endangered clustered timber species. We used a multidisciplinary approach comprised of botanical, anthracological and archaeobotanical investigations to compare P. elata patches with surrounding stands of mixed forest vegetation (“out-zones”). Charcoal samples were found in both zones, but were significantly more abundant in the soils of patches. Eleven groups of taxa were identified from the charcoals, most of them also present in the current vegetation. Potsherds were detected only inside P. elata patches and at different soil depths, suggesting a long human presence from at least 2150 to 195 BP, as revealed by our charcoal radiocarbon dating. We conclude that current P. elata patches most likely result from shifting cultivation that occurred ca. two centuries ago. The implications of our findings for the dynamics and management of light-demanding tree species are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Afrormosia; Assamela; Central Africa; tropical rain forest; autecology; forest history; shifting cultivation; past human disturbances; charcoal Afrormosia; Assamela; Central Africa; tropical rain forest; autecology; forest history; shifting cultivation; past human disturbances; charcoal
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Bourland, N.; Cerisier, F.; Daïnou, K.; Smith, A.L.; Hubau, W.; Beeckman, H.; Brostaux, Y.; Fayolle, A.; Biwolé, A.B.; Fétéké, F.; Gillet, J.-F.; Morin-Rivat, J.; Lejeune, P.; Tiba, E.N.; Van Acker, J.; Doucet, J.-L. How Tightly Linked Are Pericopsis elata (Fabaceae) Patches to Anthropogenic Disturbances in Southeastern Cameroon? Forests 2015, 6, 293-310.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top