Size class distribution and spatial pattern of Vitellaria paradoxa in relation to farmers' practices in Mali
Authors: Kelly, Bokary; Bouvet, Jean-Marc; Picard, Nicolas
Source: Agroforestry Systems, Volume 60, Number 1, January 2004 , pp. 3-11(9)
Abstract:The impact of human activities on size class distribution and spatial distribution of Vitellaria paradoxa (karité or shea butter tree) in the parklands of sub-Saharan Africa has not been reported in the literature. Two sites (Koumantou and Mperesso) in southern Mali and three treatments (cultivated field, fallow and forest) per site were involved in the present study. Results of a statistical test for random distribution showed that the spatial pattern of Vitellaria paradoxa became progressively aggregated from cultivated field to fallow and then to forest. A permanent aggregated pattern found at Koumantou was not found at Mperesso. A test of the independence of larger and smaller tree locations shows that size classes clump together at Koumantou but not at Mperesso. Results of the third test showed that in the cultivated field, auto-correlation was only observed at large scale. In the fallow the trend was towards negative correlation for both sites. In the forest, negative correlation was observed up to 20 m at Koumantou whereas at Mperesso, positive correlation was observed around 35 m and above 50 m. Site differences may be explained by the intensity of fruit production and recruitment, bound to rainfall and land use pressure. Greater regularity of the spatial pattern in cultivated field, then fallow, may be the result of human intervention.
Document Type: Research Article
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Publication date: 2004-01-01