Pterocarpus erinaceus is an endemic and threatened plant species in arid and semiarid zones of West Africa and is highly exploited for timber, animal feeding, and various medicinal uses. The species is currently native to the Guinean forest-savannah mosaic ecoregion and reported from Senegal to Cameroon. The values of the main characteristics of the P. erinaceus forest stands (density, average diameter, average height and average stem height) vary significantly (P < 10−3) from the Guinean zone to the Sahelian zone. It has high technological performance and can be classified as heavy and very hard wood with a density of the order of 0.80 ± 0.07 g/cm3 and an average hardness of 12 ± 3.7 g/cm3. The species is the subject of large-scale international traffic between West Africa and Asia, which is by far the greatest threat to the species. The various uses induce repeated mutilation and increase pressures on the species resulting in a significant reduction in its natural populations. In response to this situation, measures are proposed, including large-scale plant production strategies, the definition of minimum felling diameters, policy measures, etc., to meet the restoration needs of natural stands of P. erinaceus and the fight against climate change.
Part of the book: Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences