Use of ethnobotanical results in the process of domestication of an agroforestry plant with morphological variability (Adamawa, Cameroon)

Lamy Lamy Georges Maxime, Ndjonka Dieudonné, Ibrahima Adamou, Mapongmetsem Pierre Marie


Background: Knowing how, when and why to use local knowledge, the human being is at the center of ethnobotanical studies. For multiple uses (food, carbon sequestration, etc.), many plants living in nature (forest, savannah, etc.) without protection are selected by humans and introduced by appropriate techniques into systems (fields, etc.) controlled daily by him. This process is called domestication and this type of plant, agroforestry plant. The species Syzygium guineense var. macrocarpum encountered in the agro-ecological zone of the Guinean savannahs highlands (Adamawa, Cameroon), is an agroforestry plant whose ethnobotanical studies reveal the presence of four sub-varieties complicated by the morphological variability of the leaves and fruits which slow down its domestication. The determination of significant morphological descriptors of these leaves and fruits appears to be a prerequisite for the domestication of this plant. This study is moving in this direction. Methods: The method used in three different localities is a split plot. The repetitions involved three leaves and three fruits from each of the eleven trees retained per sub-variety, ie three hundred and ninety-six respective units. Results and Discussion: Ultimately, the qualitative morphological descriptors of the leaves (whole margin, acute apex, etc.) and fruits (sweet taste, ovoid shape, etc.) were significant. Quantitative descriptors of tree accessibility especially accessibility to tree brightness (HTE); Fruiting (SAF, LAF, FWE and RLFSF) and vegetative development (DPE, SWI, PLE, LSH, NLN, NRN, SNL and RNL) were more significant in the Tello area.  Conclusions: Molecular studies (genomic DNAs) are recommended to elucidate the origin of the variability observed within this plant. Keywords: Loss of traditional knowledge, Impact of climate change, Morphological descriptors, Agroforestry plants, sub-variety, Conservation, Syzygium guineense var. macrocarpum, Cameroon

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