Tropical Ecology

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 311–325 | Cite as

The baobabs of the Comoro Islands: some biogeographical factors towards the protection and conservation of a neglected asset

  • Maoulida Mohamed AbdillahiEmail author
  • Cyrille Cornu
  • Raïma Fadul
  • Michel Charpentier
  • Edmond Roger
  • Bakolimalala Rakouth
  • Jean-Michel Leong Pock Tsy
  • Pascal Danthu
Review Article


This study aims to provide some information about the area of presence and geographical breakdown of baobabs belonging to the Adansonia digitata species on the four Comoro Islands. Two of the eight known species of baobabs in the world are present in the Comoro Islands. Whilst they have asset value, a thorough study of their geographical distribution has yet to be produced and there is very little existing action to protect and conserve the asset. An inventory of the A. digitata populations on the islands (Grande Comore, Mohéli, Anjouan and Mayotte) and islets of the archipelago was carried out. From this, it was possible to map the geographical breakdown and analyse the spacial distribution of the baobabs. Their distribution seems to be strongly associated to their proximity to the coastline, suggesting the seeds are dispersed by marine hydrochory. The ecological status of this species based on IUCN status assessment, is known from the threats and pressures incurred and its distribution according to their ecological preferences. The species is categorized as Endangered (ER). The data from this study should contribute to improved management and conservation of the Adansonia species in the Comoros, a growing requirement in the light of concerns about anthropogenic pressure.


Adansonia digitata Baobab Comoros’archipelago Conservation Dispersal Flora Hydrochory 



The authors would like to thank the CIRAD and the FSP PARRUR project for funding this study. Thanks also go to all the people in the field, who helped us locate the baobabs. The English translation of this article was carried out by Karen Newby in aid of the not-for-profit organisation, “Words for Solidarity”. This work was partially funded by Pascal Danthu [(+33) (0)6 33 41 37 06].


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Copyright information

© International Society for Tropical Ecology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maoulida Mohamed Abdillahi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Cyrille Cornu
    • 3
  • Raïma Fadul
    • 4
    • 5
  • Michel Charpentier
    • 6
  • Edmond Roger
    • 2
  • Bakolimalala Rakouth
    • 2
  • Jean-Michel Leong Pock Tsy
    • 3
    • 9
  • Pascal Danthu
    • 3
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.INRAPE, National Institute of Research in Agriculture Fisheries and EnvironmentMoroniComoros
  2. 2.Faculty of SciencesUniversity of AntananarivoAntananarivoMadagascar
  3. 3.DP Forest et BiodiversityAntananarivoMadagascar
  4. 4.UMR C53. PVBMT, Faculty of Sciences et TechnologiesUniversity of RéunionSaint-Denis Cedex 9France
  5. 5.DAF MayotteMamoudzouFrance
  6. 6.Les Naturalistes de MayotteMamoudzouFrance
  7. 7.CIRAD, UPR HortSysMontpellier cedex 5France
  8. 8.HortSys, CIRAD, University of MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  9. 9.Drfgrn-FofifaAntananarivoMadagascar

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