Variation in the response of eastern and southern Africa provenances of Faidherbia albida (Delile A. Chev) seedlings to water supply: A greenhouse experiment

Glob Ecol Conserv. 2016 Oct;8:31-40. doi: 10.1016/j.gecco.2016.08.005.

Abstract

Rural communities value Faidherbia albida in farming systems and pastoralism. Faidherbia albida provides products such as medicine, fodder, fuel, wood, food and services such as shade, soil fertility and nutrient cycling. Excessive browsing by animals, branch lopping and pod harvesting, have critically reduced the natural regeneration in some areas which exposes it to challenges due to dependence upon natural regeneration. The objective of this research was to evaluate response of Faidherbia albida provenances from eastern (Taveta Wangingombe) and southern Africa (Lupaso, Kuiseb Manapools) to different watering regimes to aid in selection of provenances for domestication. The observed difference in growth was analyzed to determine whether they are genetic or environmentally induced. Genotype [Formula: see text] interaction were significant at ([Formula: see text]0.001, p[Formula: see text]0.05) in seedling height, diameter and leaf numbers. Seedling height (r=0.94 p=0.001) recorded the highest correlation coefficient among all the growth variables analyzed. The growth variation was greater for seedling height than that of diameter and leaf numbers (h[Formula: see text]=0.97). Hierarchical cluster analysis grouped the provenances into three clusters with cluster iii consisting of Taveta, Kuiseb and Lupaso while cluster ii and i composed of Wangingombe and Manapools respectively. Manapools recorded the highest genetic distance from Taveta, Kuiseb and Lupaso at 84.55 units. Wangingombe and Manapools are closely related genetically at a distance of 7.32. The maximum inter-cluster distance between cluster i and iii indicated wider genetic diversity between the provenances in these clusters and selection should be from this clusters for hybridization program to achieve novel breeds.

Keywords: Age to age correlation; Faidherbia albida; Genetic variation; Provenance x treatment interaction; Selection.