Gebrekirstos A, Bayala J, Villamor GB, Kalinganire A, Dodiomon S


This study aimed to investigate the applicability of dendrochronology for assessing the growth dynamics and response to climate variability and to estimate the aboveground carbon stock and carbon sequestration potential of Vitellaria paradoxa in southern Mali. Twenty stem disks were collected from three land-use types (parklands, fallows and protected areas) in Koutiala and Yanfolila districts. We combined a standard dendrochronological approach with biomass allometric equations to estimate the growth and carbon stocks. The results showed that V. paradoxa forms distinct growth ring boundaries but most of the disks from parklands did not successfully cross-date due to management operations like pruning. The tree-ring width showed a significant standardized coefficient of regression with rainfall (r2 = 0.66, p < 0.001) but insignificant correlation with temperature. One-way analysis of variance showed no significant difference (p > 0.05) for C-sequestration as well as for carbon stocks in aboveground biomass for both land-use types and sites. Mean values of the amount of C-sequestered were 1.13 ± 0.63 Mg C ha−1yr−1 in parklands, 0.93 ± 0.50 Mg C ha−1yr−1 in fallows 0.66 ± 0.43 Mg C ha−1yr−1 in the protected areas in Yanfolila. In Koutiala, the values were 0.73 ± 0.40 Mg C ha−1yr−1 in the parklands and 0.67 ± 0.52 Mg C ha−1yr−1 in the fallows. These results clearly indicate that dendrochronology can be applied to assess growth and carbon sequestration potential of V. paradoxa. These results also suggest that climate change could affect the growth and carbon sequestration potential of V. paradoxa. Given the limited size of our sample, figures on the amount of carbon are indicative calling for applying the tested approaches to larger samples and also to other tree species in West Africa.