Conservation of Balanites aegyptiaca var. aegyptiaca Del. in Algerian Sahara


C. Selkh*, S. Bissati, A. Chehma and M. Ould Safi

We have studied the conservation through the domestication of the desert medicinal tree Balanites aegyptiaca var. aegyptiaca Del., in its natural environment in Adrar (Algerian Sahara). For this purpose, two techniques were tested: direct sowing and transplanting. Field observations have shown that the survival rate of individuals was important for the direct seeding technique in comparison to transplantation, with a percentage of 65% and 16.66% respectively. The study of a six-year-old Balanites aegyptiaca var. aegyptiaca plantation has shown that the best quality of the fruit production was found at 57.14% of Balanites individuals presented by a common phenotype with trees characterized by a high density of leaves and thorns. Two other phenotypes produced fruits of lower quality: 21.42% of individuals with long thorns, and 14.28% with short leaves, respectively. This study allowed us to observe the possibility of the domestication of Balanites aegyptiaca var. aegyptiaca Del. It gives good fruit productivity; in addition, its water requirements are low for agriculture in drylands. The study has also shown that the tree of Balanites aegyptiaca var. aegyptiaca Del., is interesting to use in sustainable agriculture in the hyper arid areas.

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