The role of natural regeneration in the current dynamic of the littoral sacred groves of Togo
Kokou, Kouami; Kokutse, Adzo Dzifa
This survey analyzes the natural regeneration processes of 14 main plant species in the littoral sacred forest of Amédéhoèvé in Togo, in order to appraise how they contribute to the renewal of these endangered ecosystems. Results show that the three species of the canopy frequently encountered in the regeneration are Antiaris africana (65% of regeneration), Dialium guineense (15%) and Millettia thonningii (14%). The density of the regeneration concerning all the species is 4-9 plantlings/m2. This density varies according to the species and to the seedlings distance from the nearest seed bearer. The strata cover influences also the density of the regeneration; the best regeneration densities are obtained when the shrubby stratum is least closed ( 50%). In addition, the presence of canopy openings influences also the density of the regeneration; for Antiaris africana, the seedlings are distinctly less numerous in the opening areas whereas Dialium guineense and Millettia thonningii regenerate better in the opening areas. Globally, the natural regeneration of the local species is abundant to ensure the renewal of the ecosystems of the sacred forests in the southern part of Togo. With these results, the enrichments with exotic species, commonly used, are contrary to the conservation of the biodiversity in these sacred forests.