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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 735418, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/735418
Research Article

Phenotypic Variation in Fruit Morphology among Provenances of Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst.

1Department of Forestry, Mzuzu University, Private Bag Box 201, Luwinga, Mzuzu 2, Malawi
2Forestry Research Institute of Malawi, P.O. Box 270, Zomba, Malawi
3Department of Forestry, Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife, Private Bag Box 6, Dedza, Malawi

Received 13 June 2015; Revised 8 September 2015; Accepted 29 September 2015

Academic Editor: Ignacio García-González

Copyright © 2015 Idah Mkwezalamba et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst. is a multipurpose fruit tree which is very useful in providing food security and meeting nutritional and economic needs. This study was conducted to assess eighteen provenances of Sclerocarya birrea planted in Mangochi, Malawi. The trial was assessed for fruit traits at fifteen years of age. There were significant () variations among the provenances in number of fruits, fruit weight, pulp weight, seed weight, fruit length, and diameter. Magunde provenance from Mozambique had the highest mean number of fruits, 2196 ± 200. Mangochi and Moamba provenances from Malawi and Mozambique were the most outstanding in the other parameters measured attaining the mean fruit weight of 20.89 ± 0.25 g and 25.67 ± 0.67 g, pulp weight of 25.70 ± 0.08 g and 21.55 ± 0.83 g, seed weight of 4.81 ± 0.35 g and 4.12 ± 0.18 g, fruit length of 2.61 ± 0.14 cm and 2.33 ± 0.07 cm, and fruit diameter of 2.33 ± 0.15 cm and 1.97 ± 0.08 cm, respectively. There was no significant () correlation between number of fruits and the other fruit traits. However, there were significant () and strong positive relationships between fruit weight and pulp weight () and fruit length and diameter (). This suggests that fruit weight can be used indirectly for selection of pulp. Further studies should investigate fruit taste quality of products from the fruits.