Seasonal dependence of rooting success in cuttings from natural forest trees in Madagascar
Four ligneous species from the tropical forest in the east of Madagascar, with a proven or potentially high economic value, were subject to ‘low-tech’ vegetative propagation tests from stem cuttings. The species concerned were Aphloia theiformis, Ilex mitis, Prunus africana and Ravensara aromatica. The cuttings were three-node segments of stems on which one leaf was retained. All the species proved amenable to rooting. The maximum percentage of rooting ranged from 33% for P. africana to 60% for I. mitis. Rooting success was dependant on the season of cutting (high in the hot season, from October to May, and null in cold season). This study is the first successful attempt at propagating cuttings from Malagasy forest species. This result is of particular importance to P. africana, threatened by destructive exploitation in Madagascar. It goes a step further in the domestication of this species by demonstrating the ability of cutting from 10 year old ortets collected in natural forest to root as it offers the possibility of a reliable and effective method of reintroduction for the species in overexploited zones.
KeywordsCutting Rooting competence ‘Low-tech’ propagation Aphloia theiformis Ilex mitis Prunus africana Ravensara aromatica Madagascar
This study was conducted by the Unité de Recherche en Partenariat “Forêts et Biodiversité”, a collaboration between the University of Antananarivo, the FOFIFA and the CIRAD. It was supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Project FSP “Forum de la Recherche à Madagascar”/Forma), by European Union (INCO/Foreaim Project) and by INDENA-Madagascar. The authors would like to express their appreciation to the NGO “L’Homme et l’Environnement” for its help and hospitality in Vohimana Forest and V. Rahajanirina, W. Ramahafaly and E. Rakotoarisoa for their technical assistance.
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