Spatially explicit multi-threat assessment of food tree species in Burkina Faso: A fine-scale approach

Gaisberger, H and Kindt, R and Loo, J and Schmidt, M and Bognounou, F and Da, S S and Diallo, O B and Ganaba, S and Gnoumou, A and Lompo, D and Lykke, A M and Mbayngone, E and Nacoulma, B M I and Ouedraogo, M and Ouedraogo, O and Parkouda, C and Porembski, S and Savadogo, P and Thiombiano, A and Zerbo, G and Vinceti, B (2017) Spatially explicit multi-threat assessment of food tree species in Burkina Faso: A fine-scale approach. PLoS ONE, 12 (9). pp. 1-26. ISSN 1932-6203

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Over the last decades agroforestry parklands in Burkina Faso have come under increasing demographic as well as climatic pressures, which are threatening indigenous tree species that contribute substantially to income generation and nutrition in rural households. Analyzing the threats as well as the species vulnerability to them is fundamental for priority setting in conservation planning. Guided by literature and local experts we selected 16 important food tree species (Acacia macrostachya, Acacia senegal, Adansonia digitata, Annona senegalensis, Balanites aegyptiaca, Bombax costatum, Boscia senegalensis, Detarium microcarpum, Lannea microcarpa, Parkia biglobosa, Sclerocarya birrea, Strychnos spinosa, Tamarindus indica, Vitellaria paradoxa, Ximenia americana, Ziziphus mauritiana) and six key threats to them (overexploitation, overgrazing, fire, cotton production, mining and climate change). We developed a species-specific and spatially explicit approach combining freely accessible datasets, species distribution models (SDMs), climate models and expert survey results to predict, at fine scale, where these threats are likely to have the greatest impact. We find that all species face serious threats throughout much of their distribution in Burkina Faso and that climate change is predicted to be the most prevalent threat in the long term, whereas overexploitation and cotton production are the most important short-term threats. Tree populations growing in areas designated as ‘highly threatened’ due to climate change should be used as seed sources for ex situ conservation and planting in areas where future climate is predicting suitable habitats. Assisted regeneration is suggested for populations in areas where suitable habitat under future climate conditions coincides with high threat levels due to short-term threats. In the case of Vitellaria paradoxa, we suggest collecting seed along the northern margins of its distribution and considering assisted regeneration in the central part where the current threat level is high due to overexploitation. In the same way, population-specific recommendations can be derived from the individual and combined threat maps of the other 15 food tree species. The approach can be easily transferred to other countries and can be used to analyze general and species specific threats at finer and more local as well as at broader (continental) scales in order to plan more selective and efficient conservation actions in time. The concept can be applied anywhere as long as appropriate spatial data are available as well as knowledgeable experts.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Food tree species, Burkina Faso, Agroforestry parklands, Climate change, Natural resources
Subjects: Others > African Agriculture
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2017 08:49
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2018 08:44
Official URL:
Projects: Threats to priority food tree species in Burkina Faso: Drivers of resource losses and mitigation measures’
Acknowledgement: We thank our collaborating partners on the research project ‘Threats to priority food tree species in Burkina Faso: Drivers of resource losses and mitigation measures’ who provided valuable input to the threat models during the project meetings. These include members of the Environmental and Agricultural Research Institute (INERA), the National Forest Seed Centre (CNSF) and the Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW). A special thank you goes to Maarten van Zonneveld, who developed the methodology to assess the species´ specific threat sensitivity with expert knowledge and accordingly analyzed the data.We wish to further acknowledge with thanks the contribution of Vincent Johnson who reviewed and edited the latest version of this manuscript. Finally, we would like to thank all donors who supported this research through their contributions to the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA).
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