Ecologic, Floristic and Taxonomic Study of the Genus Raphia (Calamoideae, Arecaceae) in the Yangambi Biosphere Reserve (DR Congo)

13 Jul 2021 Yangambi Biosphère Reserve, Congo (DRC), Africa Biodiversity | Forests | Plants

Albert Kahenga Matongo

This research project is developed around the topic of biodiversity conservation. Indeed, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the problem of biodiversity conservation is multiscalar and the basic scale is the lack of in-depth knowledge of the species that thrive in protected areas. Thus, based on this premise, this project focuses on the genus of Raphia palms (Calamoideae, Arecaceae), in Yangambi Biosphère Reserve. Raphia is the most diverse and socio-economically important genus of African palms.

However, this genus contains threatened and IUCN red-listed species which are not sufficiently studied and are data deficient. The aim is to generate scientific information on the flora and taxonomy of Raphia palms. Specifically, this project seeks to study the flora, taxonomy, and ecology of Raphia species and to investigate their spatial distributions. The botanical inventory method and herbarium collection analysis approach will be used to carry out this project.

The main outcomes will be the data on the ecology, flora, taxonomy, and spatial distribution of Raphia species. These results would be useful for monitoring the population dynamics of the Raphia species found in this reserve. It would be also useful for the conservation status assessment of some threatened species found in this genus. For the researchers, this work will constitute a crucible of data for future studies and conservation actions.

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