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Identification of ecological indicators for monitoring ecosystem health in the trans-boundary W regional park : a pilot study

Bouyer J., Sana Y., Samandoulgou Y., César J., Guerrini L., Kaboré Zoungrana C., Dulieu D.. 2007. Biological Conservation, 138 : p. 73-88.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2007.04.001

The sustainable management of the W Regional park and its peripheral areas is based on a trade-off between conservation and the generation of economic income for local populations. This work is a pilot study for the identification of ecological indicators to monitor ecosystem health in Sudanian Savannah ecosystems. Ecological indicators are needed to warrant the efficiency of the protection measures, particularly in the mosaic landscapes of the peripheral areas. Two insect families (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae (Cetoniinae) and Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) were trapped along transects crossing landuse units submitted to various human pressures (none, hunting, traditional and intensive crops, grazing) in two countries (Burkina Faso and Bénin). Plant species richness was found to be correlated with the abundance of four fruit-feeding insect species and with the fruit-feeding butterflies species richness, but not with the Cetoniinae species richness. The abundance of Nymphalidae species generally dropped with human activities, but that of Cetoniinae species followed the intermediate disturbance theory. The likely impact of the various management practises on the general ecosystem health is discussed, as is the potential value of fruit-feeding insects as bioindicators and the points that still need to be clarified. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

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