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Spatio-temporal variability of fruit feeding insects used as ecological indicators in West Africa

Akoudjin M., César J., Kombassere A.W., Bouyer J.. 2011. Bois et Forêts des Tropiques (308) : p. 21-32.

Fruit-feeding insects have recently been demonstrated to be very useful as ecological indicators of ecosystem health in the West-African region. In Burkina Faso, located in the West-African savannah area, an increasing fragmentation of the land in several regions urges the need of an evaluation and monitoring tool for savannah ecosystem health. The present study was designed to assess the spatiotemporal variability of the apparent densities of Nymphalidae and Cetoniinae species attracted to banana traps, in order to provide recommendations for managers as to how to use them as ecological indicators. Two landscape types only (a grazing and a cropping area) were thus sampled repeatedly during two years, at two periods of the rainy season and for a variable duration (from 5 to 10 days) in Koro, a village located in south-western Burkina Faso. The impact of these factors of variability on the discrimination of these two types of anthropogenic pressures was then assessed. The study confirmed the usefulness of these groups as ecological indicators and a higher impact of cropping than grazing on ecosystem health. The results are discussed and guidelines are provided for the use of fruit-feeding insects in the framework of landscape management.

Mots-clés : insecta; indicateur biologique; Écosystème; Écologie; utilisation des terres; fruit; Écologie animale; nymphalidae; distribution géographique; système de culture; pastoralisme; biodiversité; afrique occidentale; burkina faso; cetoniinae

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