Morphological Diversity Assessment of Five Populations of Sulla (Hedysarum flexuosum L.) Harvested at Five Phenological Stages in Kabylie region (Algeria)

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article

Authors

1 Département des Sciences Agronomiques, Faculté des Sciences Biologiques et Sciences Agronomiques, Laboratoire de Biochimie Analytique et Biotechnologies (LABAB), Université Mouloud Mammeri UN1501,

2 Département des Sciences Agronomiques, Faculté des Sciences Biologiques et Sciences Agronomiques, Laboratoire de Biochimie Analytique et Biotechnologies (LABAB), Université Mouloud Mammeri UN1501, Tizi-Ouzou

Abstract

Hedysarum flexuosum L. is an important forage legume with high nutritive value. The determination of forage production in natural habitats is the most important factor for grazing management. Studies on its habitat characteristics and distribution are scarce. This research was conducted in order to evaluate the extent of pheno-morphological diversity in natural populations of Hedysarum flexuosum from different environments throughout Tizi-Ouzou province (Algeria), and to analyse the relationships among the diversity patterns and environmental parameters. Some morphological characters that reflect the behaviour and diversity of biogeographical origin of five natural populations of Hedysarum flexuosum collected in situ under edaphic and climatic conditions of the region of Kabylie, for five phenological stages (vegetative growth, budding, flowering, seed setting and seed ripening), were determined. The sites have been chosen following the gradient East (Souama), West (Sidi Naamane), North (Timizart), and South (Ait Toudert) and site in the Center (Bousmahel). Plant samples harvested from 12 plants for stems and leaves parameters as a replication in each phenological stage. The parameters were: leaves number per plant, leaves number per stem, stems number per plant, weight of fresh leaves, weight dried leaves, weight of fresh stems and weight dried stems, Leaf/stem ratio for fresh and dry weight, and forage dry yields. Soil samples were analysed to determine pH, EC, total limestone, organic carbon percentage and soil texture. Results showed that this species grows in soils with lime amount between 0.63 to 20%, clay or clay loam texture, acidity from 7.62 to 8.40 and organic matters from 0.21 to 2.54%. Furthermore, results showed significant effect (p<5%) of H. flexuosum populations (sampling sites) and phenological stages on all traits, except leaf/stem ratio (fresh weight and dry weight) for sites. The findings of this study can be noticed for proper range management, conservation and development for this valuable species in such conditions.

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