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Adaptation of Argania spinosa L. in Northern Tunisia: Soil analysis and morphological traits variability

Louati, Marwa, Khouja, Arbi, Ben Abdelkrim, Ahmed, Salhi Hannachi, Amel, Baraket, Ghada
Scientia horticulturae 2019 v.255 pp. 220-230
Argania spinosa, correspondence analysis, morphometry, multipurpose trees, phenotype, principal component analysis, provenance, social benefit, soil analysis, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia
The argan tree (Argania spinosa L. Skeels) originates from Morocco, is the most remarkable species from North Africa, both by its botanical and bio-ecological interest also by its social value. It’s rare to find argan trees outside of Morocco and Algeria; however, hundreds of trees exist in Tunisia. Phonological, morphological, and pomological characteristics were evaluated for 30 different trees from two different locations in Tunisia. 33 morphometric measurement data taken on traits related to vegetative aspect were used. The aim of this work was the phenotypic characterization of argan to begin a program of conservation and improvement of this species in Tunisia. The principal component analysis (PCA), the multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA), and the Ward dendrogram were constructed. Analysis of the results shows the presence of a large morphological variability within and between the two sites which could be dependent on the geographical origin of the studied collections of argan tree. The introduction and exploitation of this multipurpose tree in Tunisian agriculture will lead to many benefits in different fields.