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AMS radiocarbon dating of very large Grandidier's baobabs (Adansonia grandidieri)

Patrut A., Von Reden K.F., Danthu P., Leong Pock Tsy J.M., Rakosy L., Patrut R.T., Lowy D.A., Margineanu D.. 2015. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section B. Beam Interactions with Materials and Atomseractions with Materials and Atoms, 361 : p. 591-598. International Conference on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. 13, 2014-08-24/2014-08-29, Marseille (France).

DOI: 10.1016/j.nimb.2015.04.044

The article reports the AMS radiocarbon investigation of the two largest known Adansonia grandidieri specimens. The two baobabs, which are named Tsitakakoike and Pregnant baobab, are located in Southwestern Madagascar, near Andombiro. A third specimen from this area, the House baobab, was also investigated. According to measurements, Tsitakakoike is the biggest individual above ground level of all Adansonia species. The House baobab was selected for its exposed structure, which is identical to the closed ring-shaped structure with false cavities identified by us in large and old Adansonia digitata specimens. According to our research, Tsitakakoike and the Pregnant baobab have multi-stemmed cylindrical trunks which are mainly hollow; the two very large baobabs also possess a ring-shaped structure. The radiocarbon dates of the oldest wood samples collected from the large trunks were 1274 ± 20 BP for Tsitakakoike and 930 ± 20 BP for the Pregnant baobab. According to their original positions and to the architectures of the two A. grandidieri, the ages of Tsitakakoike and Pregnant baobab would be between 1300 and 1500 years. Therefore, A. grandidieri becomes the third Adansonia species with individuals that can live over 1000 years, according to accurate dating results.

Mots-clés : adansonia; datation au radiocarbone; cerne; anatomie du bois; Âge; tronc; morphologie végétale; identification; madagascar

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