Résumé : The impact of the Pleistocene climate oscillations on the structure of biodiversity in tropical regions remains poorly understood. In this study, the forest refuge theory is examined at the molecular level in Milicia excelsa, a dioecious tree with a continuous range throughout tropical Africa. Eight nuclear microsatellites (nSSRs) and two sequences and one microsatellite from chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) showed a deep divide between samples from Benin and those from Lower Guinea. This suggests that these populations were isolated in separate geographical regions, probably for several glacial cycles of the Pleistocene, and that the nuclear gene pools were not homogenized despite M. excelsa's wind-pollination syndrome. The divide could also be related to seed dispersal patterns, which should be largely determined by the migration behaviour of M. excelsa's main seed disperser, the frugivorous bat Eidolon helvum. Within Lower Guinea, a north-south divide, observed with both marker types despite weak genetic structure (nSSRs: F-ST