Lamien N, Boussim JI, Nygård R, Ouedraogo JS, Odén PC, Guinko S
Mistletoe impact on Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa CF Gaertn.) flowering and fruiting behaviour in savanna area from Burkina Faso
Environmental and Experimental Botany: 2006 55:142-148

Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn., Sapotaceae family, is a characteristic species of the woody flora in savanna woodland of I Africa. The fresh pulp of its fruits and the butter extracted from the kernels play an important social and economic role in rural areas. However, about 95% of the trees in natural stands are infected with Mistletoes, which are plant parasites. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of this type of parasite on the flowering and fruiting behaviour of the infected branches. For the flowering and fruiting follow-up, 46 infected branches and 46 healthy ones selected on 30 trees located in cropping areas L were tagged. The infected branch diameters before and after the attachment point of the parasite and the size of the stump of the parasite were measured. The number of reproductive organs of the on-year fruit bearing shoots was counted each week during the blossom period. Pearson's correlation coefficients were estimated to measure the association between the infected branch L morphological parameters and the number of reproductive organs. General Linear Model ANOVA and Student's paired sample test were performed to compare the reproduction index of the infected to healthy branches. The data did not show sufficient evidence that indicate negative association between the infected branch morphological parameters and the reproduction index. No significant difference was observed between the flowering and fruiting behaviour of infected branches and that of healthy ones. The possible reasons of these results are discussed. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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