Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Comparison of Growth Responses of Khaya senegalensis Seedlings and Stecklings to Four Irrigation Regimes

Ky-Dembele, Catherine; Bayala, Jules; Savadogo, Patrice; Tigabu, Mulualem; Oden, Per Christer; Boussim, Issaka Joseph


Khaya senegalensis is an important tree species for timber production, native to West Africa, but mahogany shoot borer attacks prevent successful plantations. This research was aimed at comparing the growth of two propagule types, seedlings and stecklings, of Khaya senegalensis subjected to four irrigation regimes, 25, 50, 75 and 100% field capacity in Burkina Faso. The relative growth rate, biomass allocation and intrinsic water use efficiency of the propagules were assessed in a full-factorial pot experiment in block design. Except the relative growth rate of stem basal diameter and specific leaf area, for which mean values were significantly higher for seedlings than stecklings, the two propagule types had similar growth patterns regarding relative growth rates of stem length, leaf, stem, root and the total plant biomass. There was no significant difference between propagule types concerning biomass fraction to total plant biomass of leaf, stem and root, root to stem ratio, leaf area productivity and carbon isotope ratio (delta(13)C). However, the irrigation regimes significantly affected all parameters. In contrast to 75 and 100% field capacity irrigation regimes, the low water supply of 25 and 50% field capacity resulted in plant stress, which was evident from the significant reduction in plant growth and biomass production and an increase in the root biomass to total plant biomass ratio and delta(13)C. It can be concluded that seedlings and stecklings have comparable growth patterns, while water stress is a major growth-limiting factor highlighting the need for selecting drought and borer resistant genotypes for successful plantations.


rooted cuttings; water stress; Senegal mahogany

Published in

Silva Fennica
2010, Volume: 44, number: 5, pages: 787-798