The management and utilisation of resources in agroforestry systems are influenced by both land and tree tenure systems, especially where land and tree tenure are distinct, and rights to one do not necessarily lead to rights over the other. Most academic research has examined the impact of land tenure on management and productivity in these landscapes. This thesis investigates the impact of tree tenure alongside other socioeconomic factors through the research question: 'how do local institutional arrangements affect the management, utilisation and ecology of indigenous economic trees in agroforestry parklands?' Shea and locust bean trees, two of the most economically, culturally and ecologically important indigenous agroforestry species in Northern Ghana, are chosen for the case study. This multidisciplinary study utilises several methodologies of data collection and analysis to assess individual and household behaviour in the management of shea and locust bean trees, and the impact on the ecology of these species. The analysis of incentives (and constraints) stemming from differing tenure arrangements reveals differing attitudes among the households to the preservation and planting of these trees on their farmlands. Women, who are primary gatherers of non-timber products from these trees and hence the main beneficiaries, have differing access to these trees, depending both upon the status of their household within the community and the tenure rules in place. Econometric modelling of shea and locust bean tree densities reveals the socioeconomic and institutional determinants of these tree densities on the farmland, highlighting the importance of economic and institutional incentives and constraints in shaping the management practices, and subsequently the ecology of these indigenous economic species. The findings demonstrate that the vagaries of the resource-use dynamics should be taken into consideration by any policy targeted towards promoting sustainable management and utilisation of these valuable parkland species
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