Stump diameter and height effect on early sprouting of three common firewood species in semi-arid region in West Africa



The cutting of exotic plants for wood and charcoal is a frequent practice in the south of Benin. The capacity of each tree to regenerate has not until now been considered as a determinant subject in the management of planting forests of Benin. This research analyzed the effects of external factors especially the diameter and height of cutting on the sprouting capacity of three species (Acacia auriculiformis, Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Tectona grandis) used as fuelwood in the south of Benin Republic in West Africa. A total of 90 trees of A. auriculiformis, E. Camaldulensis and T. grandis have been selected  and cut on three classes of diameter (10-20 cm, 30-40cm, 40-60cm) for 30 trees per each.

Results indicated that E. Camaldulensis had yielded the highest number of sprouts (7 and 6), the highest height (435 cm and 621 cm) and diameter growth of lead sprout (3.50 and 5.04 cm) in both the first and the second season. Considering the relationship between stump characteristics and sprouting ability, the number of sprouts increased with the basal diameter for E. Eucalyptus and T. grandis. In opposite, for A. auriculiformis, when the diameter increased, the height of spouts decreased. Interactive effects for species, class height of cutting and stump diameter indicated significant effect on number of sprouts, height and diameter of lead sprouts. We therefore suggest that A. auriculiformis and E. Camaldulensis had determinant indicators for fuelwood usage and for short rotation.

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