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Title: Maasai use of plants in Loliondo, Tanzania, and their impact on wild populations of two of the most used trees : Juniperus procera Endl. (Cupressaceae) and Olea africana Mill. (Oleaceae)
Authors: Searle, Nicholas A.
Keywords: TANZANIA
Date: 1999
Publisher: McGill University, Department of Plant Science, Montréal, QC, CA
Abstract: Tropical African forests are thought to be declining due to human activity, resulting in serious threat to local communities and wildlife. The threatened status of populations of Juniperus procera and Olea africana was studied in Loliondo, Tanzania. Three hundred persons were interviewed in ten Maasai communities concerning tree utilization for fence and house construction, firewood, traditional medicine and gourd sterilization. By comparing the indices for 169 species, J. procera and O. africana usage was significantly higher than all other species (Kruskal-Wallis, chi2 = 15.3, DF = 2, p = 0.0005). Ninety-six percent of interviewees have witnessed local decline in J. procera and O. africana. In conjunction with interviews, ecological sampling was carried out in community forests to determine species status. The correlations of size class distributions are not typical of "healthy" plant populations. If current trends continue local extinction of J. procera and O. africana may occur.
Description: Project number related to IDRC support could not be determined
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