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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2019, Article ID 8681238, 10 pages
Research Article

Mating System among Provenances of Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst.

1Department of Forestry, Mzuzu University, Private Bag 201, Luwinga, Mzuzu 2, Malawi
2World Agroforestry Centre, Chitedze Research Station, P.O. Box 30798, Lilongwe 3, Malawi
3Department of Forestry, Forestry Research Institute of Malawi, P.O. Box 270, Zomba, Malawi
4World Agroforestry Centre, ICRAF-Kenya, P.O. Box 30677, 00100 Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya
5World Agroforestry Centre, ICRAF-Uganda, P.O. Box 26416, Kampala, Uganda

Correspondence should be addressed to Edward Missanjo; moc.liamg@2me.drawde

Received 28 December 2018; Accepted 14 April 2019; Published 20 June 2019

Academic Editor: Ignacio García-González

Copyright © 2019 Violet J. Msukwa 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.


Mating system of a species is critically important both genetically and ecologically in developing plans for breeding and gene conservation. This study was conducted to assess twenty provenances of Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst. planted in Malawi. The trial was assessed for mating system and sex ratio at eighteen years of age. The results revealed that the mating system in S. birrea occurred from selfing, insect, and wind-mediated pollination. There were no significant (P>0.05) differences on seed germination percentage among the three mating systems. The germination percentages were 47%, 44%, and 43% for insect, wind, and self-pollinations, respectively. This implies that the seeds were viable in all the three mating systems. Production of viable seed from selfed flowers ruled out the possibility of apomixes in S. birrea. Most frequent flower visitors were the orders Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera with peak visitation period being from 7:00 to 11:30 hours in the morning and then 15:30 to 18:00 hours in the afternoon (+2 GMT) when temperatures were cooler. There were significant (P<0.05) variations in sex ratio among the provenances. Five provenances (Marracuene, Magamba, Tanzania pooled, Ngundu, and Matebeleland South) did not deviate significantly from sex ratio equality. The other provenances showed male-biased sex ratios.