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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Biodiversity and Conservation
Title Impacts of land-use on West African savanna vegetation: a comparison between protected and communal area in Burkina Faso
Author(s)
Volume 20
Issue 14
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 3341-3362
URL http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Blandine_Nacoulma/publication/225657488_Impacts_of_land-use_on_W​est_African_savanna_vegetation_a_comparison_between_protected_and_communal_area_in_Burkina_Faso/link​s/0c96052ea30b574ee2000000.pdf
Abstract
Biodiversity matters in many aspects for human well-being by providing
timber and non-timber products. The most important ecosystems providing these products
in West Africa are savannas. In the context of land-use changes, there is an urgent need to
understand the impact of land-use on savanna vegetation and biodiversity. This study
assesses the impact of land-use on savannas by comparing protected and communal areas.
Vegetation releve´s were performed in the W National Park and its surrounding communal
area in Burkina Faso. Vegetation types were established using ordination and clustering
methods. We analyzed to find which environmental factors determine the occurrence of the
vegetation types and whether land-use has a specific effect on diversity of vegetation types
occurring in both areas. Furthermore, we tested the effect of land-use on vegetation
structure and the occurrence of life forms and highly valued tree species. Our results reveal
five vegetation types occurring in both areas. Elevation and soil characteristics played the
most important role for the occurrence of the vegetation types. Land-use had an effect on
vegetation structure, diversity, and the occurrence of life form and highly valued species.
Our findings suggest that traditional human land-use does not automatically lead to loss of
species and degradation of savanna habitats and that combination of communal and protected
areas may be of great importance for the conservation of broad spectrum of biodiversity.
Our study demonstrates the complexity of land-use impact on biodiversity
patterns and provides insights on what kind of management activities may be most
appropriate in both areas.

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