||Population structure of the widespread species, Anogeissus leiocarpa (DC.) Guill. & Perr. across the climatic gradient in West Africa semi-arid area
||South African Journal of Botany
||In the climate change context, widely distributed plant species can serve as relevant barometers of ecosystems'
sensitivity or resilience to disturbances. This study aimed at assessing the population structure and individual
morphological traits of Anogeissus leiocarpa, a widespread tree species, across a broad strip of land, from the
north to the south of Burkina Faso. We compared stands in four phytogeographical zones in order to analyze mor-
phological variations in trees and recruits density, individual size and their spatial structure. Our results showed
signiﬁcant increase of tree density from the Sahel (77.1 trees/ha) to the South-Sudanian (166 trees/ha) while di-
ameter, height and basal area had an opposite trend. No recruits were found in the Sahel stands, while their den-
sity increased from the Sub-Sahel (5.17 individuals/ha) to the South-Sudanian (6.46 individuals/ha). Tree
diameters revealed positive asymmetric distributions in the Sudanian and Sub-Sahel whereas the Sahel stands
showed a symmetric distribution. Height structure of saplings revealed “J reverse” shape in Sudanian stands
while Sub-Sahelian ones exhibited Gaussian shape. Height–diameter relationships revealed thin trees towards
the south-Sudanian. The spatial structure of trees indicated random distributions in all zones whereas recruits
presented aggregative distribution trend in the Sudanian zones. A. leiocarpa's trees have a good ability to support
broad climatic ﬂuctuations but the populations' rejuvenation is unpredictable in the extreme harsh conditions.
The species is fairly resilient to anthropogenic disturbances in Sub-Sahel and Sudanian zones. However, manag-
ing issues should pay attention to the species communities by considering its demographic behavior in the health
state appreciation of ecosystems.
||Anogeissus leiocarpa, Latitudinal variation, Population structure, Recruitment, Spatial distribution, Burkina Faso
||286 - 295