The vegetation of recently fallowed Masakwa fields in the Chad basin

  • Mandingo Ataholo
  • Rüdiger Wittig
Keywords Echinochloetea colonae, firgi, Hygrophiletum auriculatae, Sorghetum arundinacei, Sorghum bicolor


On the clay plains surrounding Lake Chad (West Africa: northern Sudanian and southern Sahelian zone), certain varieties of pearl millet (Sorghum bicolor), commonly referred to as Masakwa, are cultivated during the dry season. Recently fallowed Masakwa fields support a particular progression of pioneer vegetation. In the first year of fallow, the pioneer vegetation typically belongs to the class Echinochloetea colonae Wittig 2005 and can be classified as Hygrophiletum auriculatae sensu lato. Approximately half of the stands consist of the Hygrophiletum auriculatae Ataholo 2002 sensu stricto, whereas the other half is primarily composed of a Celosia argentea-Hibiscus trionum community. After two years of fallow, the vegetation is typically formed by the Sorghetum arundinacei Ataholo 2002, which, in a few cases, can also occur in the first fallow year.

How to Cite
M. Ataholo and R. Wittig, “The vegetation of recently fallowed Masakwa fields in the Chad basin”, FVSS, vol. 14, pp. 24-28, Dec. 2011.