Gabon's green gold: a bibliographical review of thirty years of research on okoume (Aucoumea klaineana Pierre)



Guidosse Q, du Jardin P, White LJT, Lassois L & Doucet J (2022) Gabon's green gold: a bibliographical review of thirty years of research on okoume (Aucoumea klaineana Pierre). Biotechnologie Agronomie Societe Et Environnement, 26 (1), pp. 30-42.

Introduction. Aucoumea klaineana Pierre is the most harvested timber species in Central Africa and plays a key role in the economy of Gabon. This tree is considered “Vulnerable” for more than three decades by the IUCN because its population is assumed to have been reduced by at least 50% as a result of logging. The objective of this review is to synthesize recent and relevant knowledge in order to update this status. It focuses more specifically on ecology, population dynamics, silviculture and impacts of logging. Literature. Its natural range mainly covers Gabon. It is a light-demanding and gregarious species that forms root anastomoses. It principally establishes itself in abandoned fields and savannahs. In mature forest its regeneration is rare and limited to large gaps. Selective logging only allows significant regeneration along roads. However, at the scale of Gabon, the species is abundant and its renewal is ensured. Legal logging does not threaten the species. However, after decades of logging focusing on best shaped trees, a production of lower quality is feared. The implementation of a thoughtful silviculture could be a solution. Conclusions. Aucoumea klaineana is not vulnerable under IUCN A1 criterion. However, the maintenance of a high-quality production over the long term calls for the implementation of silviculture based on a thorough knowledge of the factors affecting stand dynamics, especially the role of the rhizosphere. Although long described, the functioning of root anastomoses has never been studied in depth.

IUCN; vulnerable species; silviculture; forest ecology; anastomoses; rhizosphere; sustainable management

Biotechnologie Agronomie Societe Et Environnement: Volume 26, Issue 1

Publication date31/12/2022
Publication date online28/02/2022
Date accepted by journal24/01/2022