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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Microberlinia bisulcata

Common Name: Zingana, zebrano, amouk, allen ele (CAM), izingana (G), enuk-enug (EGu), African zebrawood
Scientific Name: Microberlinia bisulcata
Categories: Timber, high risk
Conservation Status: Critical

The Cross-Sanaga-Bioko Coastal Forests and Atlantic Equatorial Coastal Forests of Cameroon support about 50 percent of the 7,000 to 8,000 plants endemic to Tropical West Africa, including the critically endangered endemic tree, Microberlinia bisulcata . These biological features, especially the presence of endemic families and genera indicates a long evolutionary past of the eco-region.

Why is the species important?
Microberlinia bisulcata forms ectomycorrhizal associations with soil fungi. This symbiotic relationship is vital for soil nutrient cycling, particularly phosphorus.

Where is it found?
Africa, Cameroon, Guinéo-Congolaise rainforest and evergreen coastal forest.

How do people use it?
Known as zebrano, the wood has alternating black and white stripes, making it a desirable decorative wood. It has been used for furniture, veneer, inlay, turning, and carving.

Why is it threatened?
The wood fetches high prices on the international market, leading to excessive timber extraction.

What conservation action is needed?
Koru National Park does provide in-situ protection but more is required, such as the ex-situ conservation effort being developed by La Station de Recherche Forestière de Kumbu au Cameroun.


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Julian said...

I like zebrano - beautiful and tough tree that can be hard to work with. Unfortunately it's listed as Vulnerable Species and I don't think it should be used in bigger projects such as flooring to preserve the small population we have left.

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