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Adansonia madagascariensis, a marine hydrochory hypothesis

Cornu C., Ramahafaly W., Danthu P.. 2014. Bois et Forêts des Tropiques (320) : p. 7-14.

Adansonia madagascariensis fruits were found in May 2011 on the beach of Anjiabe in the north of Madagascar. Marks found on the fruits and the absence of this species on this coast indicated that the fruits had been in the sea for a long time. The viability of seeds contained in these fruits was assessed and compared to the viability of seeds collected from under trees. The results show that the time spent in the sea did not affect their germination potential and that germination is possible, and even improves, in tidal zones. These initial results confirm the hypothesis of marine hydrochory for this species. They show that baobab fruits can remain in the sea without affecting the viability of seeds to colonize new areas. This could explain the frequent occurrence of this species along the coast of Madagascar and, more rarely, on the Mayotte coast.

Mots-clés : adansonia; graine; fruit; faculté germinative; viabilité; milieu marin; immersion; aptitude à coloniser; biogéographie; adansonia madagascariensis; madagascar

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