Characterization of Tapinanthus dodonaeifolius (Loranthaceae) infestation of shea butter tress in Chad
Keywords:Chad, Loranthaceae, parasitism, Shea
In Chad, special attention is paid to shea trees (Vitellaria paradoxa C.F.Gaertn.) because of their economic importance However, this crop is threatened by parasitic vascular plants of the family Loranthaceae. The present study was conducted at 3 sites in the Mandoul region to assess the extent of Loranthaceae (African mistletoe) attacks on trees based on trunk circumference classes at 1.5 cm from the ground. It consisted of counting the infested shea trees growing in a certain area and the tufts of parasites found on these trees, in order to determine their rate and intensity of infestation. The results show that Tapinanthus dodonaeifolius (DC) Danser was found as the only species of Loranthaceae that parasitizes shea trees studied in the study area. The average infestation rate was 73% on average and increased with age of shea trees. The average intensity of infestation per tree (2.75 in Békôh, 2.27 at Yom and 2.04 at Bébopen) shows that Tapinanthus dodonaeifolius represents a real threat for shea stands in the study area. It remains to find the threshold of infestation that causes a significant reduction in fruiting. For the moment, although difficult because of the height of the adult trees, the mechanical fight against the Loranthaceae by the systematic cutting of the infested branches is urgent in the shea parks in this zone of study.
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