This study was focused on identifying medicinal plants species subject to bark harvesting in two forests of Southern Benin (Lama Protected Forest and Lokoli Swampy Forest). Ethnobotanical survey was conducted in nine surrounding villages of both forests. 261 survey participants of various socio-professional groups (traditional healers, bark collectors, farmers, and others) answered questionnaires. Collected data provided information about the species being debarked, diseases treated, the frequency and debarking methods applied as well as the people perception of their impact on the health of trees after debarking and the sustainable palliative debarking method applied or proposed by local population. A total of 70 medicinal species belonging to 26 families were identified of which 26 bark species were mostly used. The use of tree bak was locality and socio-prefessional groups dependents as well as ethny, age and sex. Species with highest used score were: Khaya senegalensis, Anogeissus leiocarpa, Dialium guineense, Adansonia digitata, Mangifera indica and Diospyros mespiliformis in Lama Forest and Nauclea diderrichii, Bridelia ferruginea, Syzygium owariense and Ficus trichopoda in Lokoli Forest. The most important human diseases recorded were stomach pains, dysentery and frotalen. According to socio-professional groups, Traditional healers were mostly related in tree bark used in spirituality while Collectors harvested mainly species involved in commercialization. Stakeholders with a negative impact on the resources seem to be collectors applying unsustainable debarking procedures such as tree logging or girdling. However, certain sustainable debarking method have been proposed such as cambium protecting (by collectors) and botanical gardens set up (by traditional healers).


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