Parkia biglobosa is a tropical tree found in the savanna regions of Africa. It is an important indigenous food source for the people of this region in addition to its use as timber, fuelwood and medicine.
For an improvement programme to be successful in making such a multipurpose tree species better able to meet people's needs, sufficient understanding of population variability to allow the selection of individuals with desirable traits is required. However, the patterns of genetic variation of p. biglobosa in natural populations are presently not well understood. Substantial degradation of the genepool of this species has been reported throughout its natural range as a result of deforestation. Ex-situ conservation is the safest and most effective means of preventing the loss of germplasm and diversity. Equally, there is a need for in-situ conservation of populations in protected areas/forest reserves and this will require understanding of the parent population status and its implications for management. Provision is included in this proposal for ascertaining population status through the full range of conditions prevailing in the species area of occurrence. Complementary evaluation studies centring on the genetic character of individual populations will enable conservation priorities and strategies to be determined tocheckfurther depletion of the gene pool.
Although it is known that P. biglobosa is an economically important species socio-economic informatio is available for only part of the range. This project will amplify the present knowledge using different elicitation techniques to provide appropriate criteria for provenance selection and to ascertain people's attitudes and management practices towards the species in the whole range. Integration of social and ecological knowledae about the species is essential for successful exploitation of its potential asa multipurpose tree on farmland capable of contributinq to sustainable food fuel and wood production and it is the local perception of the tree that must be appreciated.
This research will consolidate the collection, storage and distribution of germplasm of parkia biglobosa and gather and integrate socio-economic and gene-ecologicalinformation to facilitate improvement and extension programmes for the species.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
6703 BL Wageningen