Comprehensive list of all plant species of Drabo Gbo, Benin. Status July 2016. Explanations in Materials and methods.

In a twenty-year effort at Drabo, southern Benin, small remnant forests, young fallow and agricultural fields were linked and rehabilitated to develop a 14 ha forest reserve. Forest regrowth was encouraged by managing the natural growth of the local fallow vegetation and by bringing in seeds and other propagules from forest islands of Benin. The succession to shade-tolerant woody forest species of Guineo-Congolian origin at the expense of extra-regional herbs, the co-existence of species with slightly different requirements, and the fate of exotic trees in this natural forest are described. A quantitative assessment of a homogeneous lot indicated 397 trees per ha, with stem diameters >10 cm, 43.7% of them below 20 cm, and a rich undergrowth of 72600 smaller plants per ha, proof of active rejuvenation. Only 4.2% of all plants resulted from the 1041 introduction events, i.e., species per date, mostly of the 253 plant species that were new to Drabo. A total of 635 species were recorded, but 50 did not survive and four are yet to be identified. In June 2016, the total of 581 known living species included 224 trees. Among all plants, 244 hailed from the Guineo-Congolian zone with 17 of Upper Guinean and four of Lower Guinean origin, 113 from the three savannah zones, and 224 were of extra-regional origin. Overall, 72.8% of all woody plants, such as many climbers, all shrubs and trees, were of forest and savanna origin (GC, SG, SZ and S), whereas 70.4% of all herbs came from other regions (At, PAL and Pt). Only 7.0% of all species from the GC zone were in decline; but the further away the plants originated from, the larger the decline in numbers and vigour, up to 64.6% among plants of pan-tropical origin. Particularly pan-tropical herbs became ever rarer, with 80.0% of them declining and remaining confined to the few remaining open spaces along paths. In 2017 the forest harboured 52 threatened species, with threat categories EW, CR, EN or VU on the Red List of Benin, out of 73 IUCN-listed species that could possibly survive in Drabo. Some of these species occur in only one or two other locations in Benin. The biodiversity richness of the rehabilitated forests of Drabo now rivals that of natural rainforest remnants of the region. As the surrounding landscape becomes ever more impoverished because of the high human population and its ever increasing impact, the maintenance of such managed islands of biodiversity is critical. By establishing rare local species from other locations we can compensate for direct human destruction and long-term stochastic loss of species in this highly fragmented landscape where natural seed dispersal is difficult.


Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Creator Peter, Neuenschwander
Creator Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Creator ID Type ORCID
Creator ID 0000-0003-0580-0376
Subject Vocab (AGROVOC/GACS/CAB) Forest Protection
Subject(s) Sacred Forest,Threatened Plants,IUCN Red List,Forest Regeneration,Guineo-Congolese Semi-Deciduous Forest
Publisher ISSN 1314-3301 (online)
Contributor Person Adomou, Aristide
Contributor Role
Contributor Project Lead Organisation Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Project Lead Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Benin
Contributor CRP Non-CRP
Contributor Partner Not Applicable
Contributor Donor IITA-Benin
Contributor Project Drabbo Forest IITA-Benin
Project ID
Contributor Affiliation Not Applicable
Open-Access status Open Access
Production Date 2017-02-25
Embargo End Date 2017-09-23
Content Type Dataset
File Format XLS
Identifier Type DOI
Identifier Citation Neuenschwander P, Adomou AC (2017) Reconstituting a rainforest patch in southern Benin for the protection of threatened plants. Nature Conservation 21: 57–82.
Source Reconstituting a rainforest patch in southern Benin for the protection of threatened plants.
Language English
Relation IsSupplementTo: The table consists in the supplementary file of Neuenschwander P & Adomou A 2017. Reconstituting a rainforest patch in southern Benin for the protection of threatened plants. Nature Conservation 21: 57–82.
Agroecological Zone Humid warm tropics
Coverage Region Western Africa
Coverage country Benin
Coverage Admin Unit Drabo Gbo
Coverage Y (Latitude) 6.504667
Coverage X (Longitude) 2.291
Coverage Start Date 1996-01-01
Coverage End Date 2016-01-01
Contact IITA-Benin, BP 08 0932 Cotonou, Benin
Contact Email
Restriction Not Applicable
Email Permission None
Rights Not Applicable,Attribution (CC BY 4.0),Not Applicable