Environment-driven spatial pattern of tamarind trees in riparian forests

Adandé Belarmain Fandohan, Akomian Fortuné Azihou, Achille Ephrem Assogbadjo, Noël Houédougbé Fonton, Augustin Brice Sinsin, Patrick van Damme


Domesticating indigenous agroforestry species is gaining interest as a potential option for conservation and production. Yet, spatial patterning of key species and how it is altered by environmental conditions, which are important to design plantation schemes in forest and agroforestry systems, are still poorly documented. The pair-correlation function was used to assess spatial pattern of Tamarindus indica and its variation under contrasting environmental conditions (vegetation cover and soil degradation). Tamarind seeds being dispersed by zoochory and barochory, we hypothesized positive association within and among life stages (adults-adults, juveniles-juveniles, and adults-juveniles). Environmental conditions did not significantly affect density and overall spatial pattern of either adult or juvenile trees. Adults and juveniles confirmed clumped patterns irrespective of environmental conditions. However, juveniles showed positive association with adults under lower canopy cover and/or soil degradation, and otherwise, independence from adults. Adults seemed to have allelopathic effect on juveniles under dense canopy. On the contrary, soil degradation favored attraction between adults and juveniles, presumably by inducing coppicing. Tamarind could be used to restore degraded areas. To this end, we suggest introducing juveniles in patches of 40 m radius using a 10 m x 10 m planting grid, and at least 30 m from mature trees.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12895/jaeid.20171.499