David Kenfack

Dschang, Cameroon

PhD Student, University of Missouri - St. Louis

Doctorat 3eme Cycle (1995), University of Yaounde I, Cameroon

Maitrise in Life Science (1988), University of Yaounde I, Cameroon

B.Sc. in Botany (1987), University of Yaounde I, Cameroon


Carapa sp.My dissertation is based on the systematics and evolution of the genus Carapa (Meliaceae). This is a poorly known genus of small to medium-sized trees of rain forest in western tropical Africa, central and northern South America, and the West Indies. The current literature recognizes 3 species in the new world and only one in Africa. Since the creation of the genus in 1775, thirty-three species names have been published, of which only three are considered valid today. However, there is a general consensus concerning the extreme variability of these 3 species. There is variation in individual trees habit, leaf length, leaflet shape and number, inflorescence branching, flower size, number of ovules per carpel, fruit size and the degree of development of resinous warts on their surface (see images). My general objective is to provide a new circumscription of species in Carapa using an evolutionary approach. My approach is to (1) describe and analyze the pattern of variation in Carapa using field observations and characters that had not been carefully observed and evaluated in the past, (2) provide information on the habitat and uses of the different species for their better conservation. Currently, I have initiated a species-level phylogeny using DNA sequencing of populations spanning the entire range of Carapa, in order to account for criptic genetic variation and in order to reconstruct the dispersal scenarios.

Recent publications:

Carapa sp.

KENFACK D., GOSLINE G., GEREAU R.E. & SCHATZ G. 2003. The genus Uvariopsis (Annonaceae) in Tropical Africa, with a recombination and one new species from Cameroon. Novon 13: 443-449

Thomas, D.W., Kenfack, D., Chuyong, G.B., Sainge N. M., Losos E.C., R.S. Condit, N.C. Songwe. 2003. Tree Species of Southwestern Cameroon: Tree distribution maps, diameter tables and species documentation of the 50-ha Korup Forest Dynamics Plot. Center for Tropical Forest Science, Washington D.C.

Sonké B., Kenfack D. & Robbrecht E. 2002. A new species of the Tricalysia atherura group (Rubiaceae) from southwestern Cameroon. Adansonia 24(2): 173-177

Ndam N., Acworth J., Kenfack D., Tchouto P. & Hall J.B. 2002. Plant diversity assessment on Mount Cameroon: surveys from 1990 to 2000. in E. Robbrecht, J. Degreef & I. Friis (Eds.) : Plant systematics and phytogeography for the understanding for African biodiversity. Proceedings of the XVIth AETFAT congress. pp. 1017 - 1022.

Gereau, E.R. & Kenfack, D. 2000, Uvariopsis korupensis, Annonaceae nouvelle du Cameroun. Adansonia 22(1): 39-43.

Muller-Landau, H.C., R.S. Condit, K.E. Harms, J.W. Ahmad, P.Ashton, S. Bunyavejchewin, G. Chuyong, L. Co, S. Davies, S. Esufali, R. Foster, CVS Gunatilleke, IAUN Gunatilleke, P. Hall, T. Hart, F. He. S. Hebbalalu, C. Hernandez, S.P. Hubbell, A. Itoh, R. John, D. Kenfack, S. Kiratiparyoon, J. LaFrankie, D. Lagunzad, E. Losos, J. Makana, S. Noor, N. Pongpattananurak, C. Samper, L. Seng, D. Shivaramaiah, R. Sukumar, I. Sung, S. Tan, S. Thomas. D. Thomas, J. Thompson, M. Uriarte, R. Valencia, M.I. Vallejo, G. Villa, C. Wills and T. Yakamura. 2002. In review. Scaling of demographic rates predicts tree size distributions in tropical forests. Submitted to Science.

E-mail: david.kenfack@mobot.org