Zizka, A., A. Thiombiano, S. Dressler, B. M. I. Nacoulma, A. Ouédraogo, I. Ouédraogo, O. ouédraogo, G. Zizka, K. Hahn & M. Schmidt (2015). The vascular plant diversity of Burkina Faso (West Africa) — a quantitative analysis and implications for conservation. Candollea 70: 9–20 In English, English and French abstracts.
Based on a species inventory and the related distribution dataset, the authors present a quantitative analysis of the vascular plant diversity of Burkina Faso (BFA) and its four phytogeographic zones. We analyzed species richness, higher taxon diversity, life forms, chorological types, introduced species, habitat preferences and the number of rare species. The flora of BFA comprises 1972 non-cultivated vascular plant species in 752 genera and 145 families. Species richness and plant family richness are highest in the South Sudanian zone in the South of the country. Fabaceae, Poaceae and Cyperaceae are the most species rich plant families. Only one species (Isoetes jaegeri Pitot) is endemic to the country, whereas the vast majority occurs throughout Africa. The flora is dominated by therophytes and phanerophytes. Our results show a good representation of the West African flora in BFA. The flora and vegetation of the four phytogeographic zones within BFA is determined by the latitudinal climatic gradient of the region. The relative number of phanerophytes and forest species decrease along the gradient, while the relative number of therophytes increase. Based on the specimen record we classified 38% of the plant species as “rare” to BFA. The analyses show that the south-west of BFA is a center of national biodiversity and a potential “hotspot” for conservation. In addition to its high species richness this area harbors the highest number of rare species (409 species, 29%) including the endemic species.