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Relationships between climate at origin and seedling traits in eight Panafrican provenances of Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn. under imposed drought stress

Abstract

The morphological responses of seedlings of eight African provenances of Vitellaria paradoxa (Shea tree or Karité) to imposed draught stress were compared under nursery experimental conditions. The potted seedlings were subjected to three different watering regimes (87 days after sowing): no water stress (100% of the field capacity, C), moderate water stress (75% of C) and severe water stress (50% of C). Before the application of the stress, we observed genotypical differences in the morphological variables at the scale of leaves and of above-ground parts. The six-month water stress affected aerial growth: all provenances responded to drought by down-regulating growth (in height and in diameter), leaf number and area. Katawki provenance of Uganda performed relatively poorly, possibly of it being a nilotica subspecies, contrary to the others (paradoxa subspecies). There was a lack of correlation between climate of seeds origin, seed characteristics, seeds germination and survival rate of seedlings. The study confirmed the importance of leaf area in the vigor of the initial growth in this species. Thus, Tamale and Karaba provenances performed better than other West African provenances due to their larger leaf area, which was found to be a determining factor of relative growth in height at the seedling stage.

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Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the project INNOVKAR Contract Number INCO-CT-032037 of the European Commission, CRP6 and CRP7. Special thanks to Gnoumou Augustin, Yonli Hermann, Abdoul Karim Ouédraogo from INERA/DPF for their support in the data collection. Dr. Coe Richard is acknowledged for his support for the data analysis and comments on the earlier version of this article. Anonymous reviewers are acknowledged for their advices and comments.

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Correspondence to J. Bayala.

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Bayala, J., Sanon, Z., Bazié, P. et al. Relationships between climate at origin and seedling traits in eight Panafrican provenances of Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn. under imposed drought stress. Agroforest Syst 92, 1455–1467 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-017-0091-8

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Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Morphological variables
  • Parklands
  • Relative growth
  • Water stress