Occurrence of nodulation in unexplored leguminous trees native to the West African tropical rainforest and inoculation response of native species useful in reforestation
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- • Despite the abundance and diversity of timber tree legumes in the West African rainforest, their ability to form nitrogen-fixing nodules in symbiosis with rhizobia, and their response to rhizobial inoculation, remain poorly documented.
- • In the first part of this study the occurrence of nodulation was determined in 156 leguminous species growing in six natural forest areas in Guinea, mostly mature trees. In the second part, an in situ experiment of rhizobial inoculation was performed on eight selected tree species belonging to three genera: Albizia, Erythrophleum and Millettia.
- • Of the 97 plant species and 14 genera that had never been examined before this study, 31 species and four genera were reported to be nodulated. After 4 months of growing in a nursery and a further 11 months after transplantation of plants to the field, we observed a highly significant (P < 0.001) and positive effect of inoculation with Bradyrhizobium sp. strains on the growth of the eight tree species tested.
- • The importance of determining the nodulation ability of unexplored local trees and subsequently using this information for inoculation in reforestation programmes was demonstrated.