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    Andersen, Gidske Leknaes Krzywinski, Knut Gjessing, Håkon K. and Pierce, Richard Holton 2016. Seed viability and germination success ofAcacia tortilisalong land-use and aridity gradients in the Eastern Sahara. Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 6, Issue. 1, p. 256.

    Jaganathan, Ganesh K. Yule, Kirsty and Liu, Baolin 2016. On the evolutionary and ecological value of breaking physical dormancy by endozoochory. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, Vol. 22, p. 11.

    So, Hanaoka Norio, Nakawa Norihisa, Okubo Stephen, Fredrick Omondi and Jason, Kariuki 2014. Seed pre-treatment methods for improving germination of Acacia tortilis. African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 13, Issue. 50, p. 4557.

    2014. Seeds.

    Muturi, G.M. Poorter, L. Mohren, G.M.J. and Kigomo, B.N. 2013. Ecological impact of Prosopis species invasion in Turkwel riverine forest, Kenya. Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 92, p. 89.

    Gandiwa, E. Magwati, T. Zisadza, P. Chinuwo, T. and Tafangenyasha, C. 2011. The impact of African elephants on Acacia tortilis woodland in northern Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe. Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 75, Issue. 9, p. 809.

    Chidumayo, E. N. 2008. Demographic implications of life-history stage characteristics in two African acacias at a Makeni savanna plot in Zambia. Journal of Plant Ecology, Vol. 1, Issue. 4, p. 217.


Germination strategy of the East African savanna tree Acacia tortilis

  • Paul E. Loth (a1) (a2), Willem F. de Boer (a1), Ignas M. A. Heitkönig (a1) and Herbert H. T. Prins (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2005

Germination of Acacia tortilis seeds strongly depends on micro-site conditions. In Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania, Acacia tortilis occurs abundantly in recently abandoned arable fields and in elephant-mediated gaps in acacia woodland, but does not regenerate in grass swards or beneath canopies. We examined the germination of Acacia tortilis using field and laboratory experiments. Seeds placed on top of the soil rarely germinated, while seeds covered with elephant dung or buried under the soil surface had a germination success between 23–43%. On bare soil 39% of both the dung-covered and buried seeds germinated, in perennial grass swards 24–43%, and under tree canopies 10–24% respectively. In laboratory experiments, seed water absorption correlated positively with temperature up to 41 °C, while subsequent germination was optimal at lower (21–23 °C) temperatures. Seeds that had absorbed water lost their viability when kept above 35.5 °C. The absence of light did not significantly influence germination success. Acacia tortilis does not actively disperse its seeds, but regeneration outside tree canopies was substantial. The regeneration potential thus strongly depends on the physiognomy of the vegetation.

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Journal of Tropical Ecology
  • ISSN: 0266-4674
  • EISSN: 1469-7831
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-tropical-ecology
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