Table of Contents
ISRN Botany
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 168196, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/168196
Research Article

To What Extent Do Protected Areas Determine the Conservation of Native Flora? A Case Study in the Sudanian Zone of Burkina Faso

Laboratory of Plant Biology and Ecology, University of Ouagadougou, 03 BP 7021, Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso

Received 24 August 2012; Accepted 13 September 2012

Academic Editors: A. Culham and S. Jansen

Copyright © 2012 Lassina Traoré et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Natural vegetation contributes significantly to the daily needs of local people especially in the developing countries. This exerts a high pressure on freely accessible natural savannas and jeopardizes the conservation of protected areas. In Burkina Faso, conservation measures, such as the creation of protected forests, have been taken to safeguard the remaining indigenous vegetation. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these protected areas in conserving biodiversity. This study compared the diversity and structural characteristics of the vegetation communities in protected and unprotected areas in the Sudanian zone of Burkina Faso. A total of 208 species representing 41 families and 145 genera were found. Significant differences were found between the species richness in the north Sudanian sector for tree savannas and in the south Sudanian sector for the shrub savannas, tree savannas, savanna woodlands, and the woodlands of land use types. All tree size-class distributions in each vegetation type formed a reverse J-shaped curve, indicating vegetation dominated by juvenile individuals. Similarity in tree species composition between management regimes was found to be low, which reflects differences in habitat conditions, disturbance, and topography. Urgent measures are needed to ensure effective and efficient management and conservation of biodiversity in the protected areas of Burkina Faso.