Conserving Prunus africana?

by Luigi Guarino on May 3, 2013

I’ve been sitting on it for a while, but a paper which AoB Blog discussed back in January led me to uncover a whole load of stuff on Prunus africana. The African Cherry Tree does not rate a leaflet in the African Food Tree Species series, perhaps because it’s not a, well, food tree, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Chemicals extracted from the tree’s bark are used in a range of pharmaceutical products to treat enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia), an extremely common condition that affects up to half of men aged over 50.

Hence various efforts to develop sustainable harvesting methods. And also an interesting series of diversity and demographic studies:

Maybe we could do with some more seed behaviour data. But it would seem there is now plenty of diversity, demographic and sustainable harvesting information on which to base a comprehensive conservation strategy. Is someone coming up with one?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara Vinceti May 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Just to flag that we (Bioversity and partners) recently published a paper on Prunus africana, focused on defining conservation priorities for the species, with the aid of spatial analyses applied to a set of georeferenced molecular marker data. We are also thinking about coordinating with ICRAF and CIFOR and possibly update the Monograph on Prunus africana published more than 10 years ago (Hall et al. 2000), but also to develop awareness material with a synthetic presentation of the knowledge currently available.

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Luigi Guarino May 31, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Thanks for the update. Sounds like we’re in line for another factsheet! I hope it will include a conservation strategy.

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