Performance of Acacia senegal (L.) Willd Provenances in Dryland Savannah of Niger

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Abstract

A study was conducted to evaluate the performance of 11 Acacia senegal provenances in Niger, West Africa, grown on 2 different soil types. Among the provenances, 6 are from Niger, 4 from Mali and 1 from Sudan. The assessment was carried out with measurements of growth parameters (survival rate, height, diameter and basal area) as well as gum and fruit production at age 15. The results showed significant differences in growth parameters between soil types and provenances. The provenances from Mali perform best, followed by the local Niger provenances. There were no significant differences in gum and fruit production between provenances, but it cannot be excluded that this was a result of limited power in the test of provenance variation in these traits. Survival of the provenances was correlated to the precipitation and the latitude of the origin, whereas basal area was correlated to latitude, and height was correlated to longitude/altitude at the origin. Recommendations could be made for genetic selection of two Mali provenances if growth is a desired character. We conclude that recommendations in terms of gum and fruit production must be based on a relative high number of sample trees as tree to tree variation within provenances may be large.

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