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Developing forensic tools for an African timber: Regional origin is revealed by genetic characteristics, but not by isotopic signature

Combating illegal timber trade requires forensic tools that independently verify claimed geographic origin of timber. Chemical and genetic wood characteristics are potentially suitable tools, but their performance at small spatial scales is unknown. In the joint publication a team of scientists from Wageningen University, Leicester University and Groupe Rougier, Cameroon, tested whether stable isotopes and micro-satellites can differentiate Tali timber (Erythrophleum spp.) at the level of forest concessions. The team collected 394 wood samples from 134 individuals in five concessions in Cameroon and Congo Republic. The nearest neighbor concessions were 14 km apart and the furthest pair 836 km apart.

Details
  • Mart Vlama, G. Arjen de Groot, Arnoud Boom, Paul Copini, Ivo Laros, Katrui Veldhuijzen, David Zakamdi, Pieter A. Zuidema
  • Biological Conservation
  • 2018
  • https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2018.01.031