Vegetative propagation of twelve fodder tree species indigenous to the Sahel, West Africa
In the Sahel region, many woody species are used as fodder because of their high nitrogen content, especially during the dry season, in contrast to grasses and crop residues. Unfortunately, this resource is being threatened by regular pruning, increasing livestock browsing and impeding their natural regeneration. Therefore, there is a need to find appropriate regeneration options to sustain fodder production. Thus, a series of vegetative propagation experiments were conducted to identify the most appropriate multiplication methods of some of the species used as fodder. This series included testing the effects of naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) and indole butyric acid (IBA) on rooting ability of stem cuttings of 12 species: Afzelia africana, Balanites aegyptiaca, Bauhinia rufescens, Commiphora africana, Faidherbia albida, Ficus gnaphalocarpa, Guiera senegalensis, Kigelia africana, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Pterocarpus lucens, Pterocarpus santalinoides and Terminalia avicennioides. The series also evaluated the impacts of the size (a. africanantalinoides was revealed to be an easy-to-root species, showing a high percentage of rooted cuttings (up to 88 ± 3%), followed by P. erinaceus, P. lucens and B. aegyptiaca (up to 37 ± 4%, 31 ± 5% and 26 ± 6%, respectively), in contrast to A. africana, cuttings of which did not root at all. The application of NAA and IBA enhanced the number of roots and secondary roots per rooted cutting. Large-diameter cuttings (15–20 mm) of deeply planted C. africana gave the highest percentage of rooted cuttings (78.3 ± 4.4%). Tree pruning improved the rooting capacity of cuttings collected from P. erinaceus with one-month resprouts giving the highest percentage of rooted cuttings (50.0 ± 6.7%). These results indicate that P. santalinoides, C. africana, P. erinaceus, P. lucens and B. aegyptiaca are amenable to vegetative propagation as an alternative to sexual propagation.
Keywords: auxin, clonal propagation, forage, non-mist propagator, rooting ability