Monday, April 30, 2007

Allelopathic potential of trees research

HOORC BIOKAVANGO project leader Dr Nkobi Moleele, with colleagues Anne Lillian Nakafeero and Mark S. Reed, has published results of a study of five species of tree currently promoted for agroforestry in Botswana. The trees, Acacia erubescens, Acacia tortilis, Combretum imberbe, Sclerocarya birrea and Terminalia sericea, were shown to produce chemical substances that could inhibit the growth of other species of plants. Concentrations of these allelopathic compounds can become particularly high in semi-arid soils because of low leaching and high evaporation rates, leading to a reduction in sub-canopy vegetation biomass. The article describing the study can be found in press online in the African Journal of Ecology through HOORC’s library.

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